Mayor Nutter this afternoon said the police arbitration award would help the city conquer some long term financial problems, but noted that paying for raises will be tough.
“There is no question that the economics of the award absolutely presents a fiscal challenge in an already fiscally challenged environment,” Nutter said.
Nutter put the price of the 7 percent raise, which officers will receive over the next three years, at $114 million. He said that number will be somewhat offset by savings in pension and health care costs, but said the contract will cost the city more than it saves.
On health care the union will go to a self-insured plan next summer, meaning the city will pay the medical bills instead of a per-member cost each month. Union members won't pay a payroll deduction for benefits, but will pay increased co-pays for prescription drugs and doctor visits. And on retirement, new hires will either have to pay more to enter the traditional pension plan or opt for a hybrid plan that will include a lower benefit traditional pension and a 401k plan.