Last week, Mayor Nutter’s aides warned that there would be tough times ahead if the city lost an appeal of a recent arbitration award for firefighters. Finance director Rob Dubow said the city would have to make numerous cuts to afford the award, like reducing library hours and eliminating hundreds of jobs.
But Sam Katz, chairman of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA), told It’s Our Money that there may be another way. Within the city budget, he said, is secret money.
“I actually believe that the city budget has resources in it that, for litigation reasons, are not being disclosed,” said Katz. “Somewhere, buried deep in the recesses of the city budget, are some funds to take care of this problem. So this will not, in my opinion, ultimately be entirely a cut-funded arbitration award.”
The city has argued that the award, which has a price tag of more than $200 million over the next five years, would lead to deep budget deficit. Firefighters, meanwhile, have contended that the city could find funds to cover the award and should honor it.