Budget chat @ noon

Head on over the Clout to chat about the city budget with Catherine Lucey at noon today.

Here's some background reading: Catherine's story from today's Daily News, which explains where the city stands with its public sector union contracts, and why:

Neither Nutter nor the unions seem in any hurry to make a deal. The city has not had formal bargaining sessions since December with District Council 33 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. And it hasn't sat down with AFSCME District Council 47 since July.

"The city has made its various proposals at the table," said Shannon Farmer, an attorney at Ballard Spahr who is serving as the city's chief negotiator. "The unions have rejected them and have not made counterproposals."

She said that there have been high-level conversations more recently.

Of course, there's really no reason for the unions to rush to the table. State labor laws have been interpreted to block public employers from imposing new contract terms when they reach an impasse. So, as long as DC33 and DC47 don't strike, they can keep their current contract terms, which are more attractive than Nutter's offer of furlough days and no raises.

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