District Council 33, the city's largest municipal union, just struck a one-year contract deal with Mayor Nutter's negotiators. The executive board of the union, which represents 9,400 blue-collar workers, voted 20-10 to endorse the deal, according to PhillyClout's Catherine Lucey, who is now at the scene of the negotiations.
DC33 members will get an $1,100 signing bonus and the city will continue to pay $976 per member each month for health care costs. The one-year deal does not include any raises. That provoked an outcry from Evon Sutton, who challenged DC33 head Pete Matthews for leadership of the union earlier this year. Sutton was seen at the negotiations, yelling "it was a sell-out."
Nutter's negotiators earlier this month inked a one-year deal with the Fraternal Order of Police which included a 3.5 percent raise but a reduction in the amount the city pays for health care costs. Nutter wants all of the city's unions to participate in a health care committee to consider how to improve benefits while reducing costs.
District Council 47, which represents white-collar workers, last week said it would participate in the committee but wanted the same raises as the FOP for a one-year deal.
UPDATE: Matthews just spoke about the contract, emphasizing that his union "didn't give anything back" to the city on health care. DC33 will participate in Nutter's committee but won't go along with any attempts to merge the four city union health care plans into one large plan. "There is no possibility of that," Matthews said. "This is a committee to look at how we may lower the cost of health care." Next up, Matthews said, is getting the contract approved by the union membership and then starting negotiations on a multi-year contract to start when the new one-year deal ends.
2nd UPDATE: Mayor Nutter is now speaking about the new contract. In a statement from his office, Nutter says the deal gives the city "crucial time" to address the crisis of health care costs. "This day is historic because for the first time, farsighted union leaders have agreed to sit down with the city administration in the spirit of cooperation and a belief that we can turn what has been for the last decade a slow-motion, quiet crisis into a victory that is fair to all parties," Nutter said.
DC47, meanwhile, is still sticking to its guns. It wants a deal that matches what the FOP got. "We take the mayor at his word that the FOP award should be the model for all city employees," DC47 president Cathy Scott said through a spokesman this evening. "We expect the mayor to keep his word."