Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Did city workers use paid sick time to protest Mayor Nutter?

A day after hundreds of angry municipal workers successfully thwarted Mayor Nutter's budget address to City Council yesterday, some wondered whether workers used paid sick time so they could flood City Hall.

Did city workers use paid sick time to protest Mayor Nutter?

A day after hundreds of angry municipal workers successfully thwarted Mayor Nutter's budget address to City Council yesterday, some wondered whether workers used paid sick time so they could flood City Hall.

"They were on their own time," said Pete Matthews, president of District Council 33, the city's largest municipal union, adding that some did not have to report to work until later. "People are committed to what they want to do."

The Nutter administration said it will not look into the matter.

"We have no way of knowing who was in City Hall and we are not going to spend precious resources trying to find an answer to that," said mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald.

Tensions have been mounting between Nutter and the city's blue-and-white collar unions, District Councils 33 and 47 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. They have been without a contract since 2009. The stalemate has now made its way to the state Supreme Court. And members of Fire Fighter's union local 22 are also fired-up after Nutter has repeatedly appealed their arbitration award.

The unions joined together and planned to drown Nutter out during his budget address. City Council president Darrell Clarke tried to calm the crowd, but gave up after 10 minutes and recessed the hearing. Nutter was unaware and continued to deliver his speech until he noticed Council members were leaving.

For more on yesterday's chaotic budget address, read today's Daily News story here. 

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