City Council backs unions in push for contracts

City Council threw their support behind the city’s municipal workers unions today, voting unanimously on a resolution calling for the Nutter Administration to negotiate a fair contract.

A vocal crowd of members from DC 33 and DC 47 appeared at today’s Council session in force shouting “Keep your word,” –a statement directed at Mayor Nutter.

The unions have been without a contract since it expired in 2009. Nutter has said he would not agree to a contract that doesn’t include significant benefit changes.

“[The resolution] says two things. One, there should be a fair contract, two, our workers have sacrificed and that should be acknowledged,” said City Councilman Wilson Goode Jr., who sponsored the resolution. “Some asked the question why would City Council project itself into union negotiations, I asked what negotiations? Regardless of what you consider to be a fair contract…not having a contract is simply bad fiscal policy.”

Goode said the city’s five-year plan should include contracts for the unions.

“No new contract for our members was ever given by this Administration,” Catherine Scott, president of DC 47 told Council, adding that both unions saved the city money. “So, I say to the Nutter Administration honor your word…stop the stalemate.”

DC 33 president Pete Matthews also urged Nutter to move on a contract deal.

“All we want to do is be treated fairly,” Matthews said.

Nutter later told reporters that he wants a contract that is fair to workers and taxpayers.

“We’re trying to negotiate a contract and [Matthews is] running for reelection in his union. You might hear anything at this point and time,” Nutter said. “What I want is a fair contract to our public employees that’s also fair to the citizens and taxpayers of this city,” he said, adding like the arbitration award correctional officers received earlier this week.