City will not pay scheduled salary increases

    The city of Philadelphia has told its union workers that they will not get scheduled pay increases. The unions’ contracts expired last week, and city officials are struggling with a tight budget.

    The city of Philadelphia has told its union workers that they will not get scheduled pay increases. The unions’ contracts expired last week, and city officials are struggling with a tight budget. But one union leader says her group offered the city a contract extension, which was rejected.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090706tmunion.mp3]

    The changes would save the city 8 million dollars this fiscal year by not paying the increases associated with years of service and for promotions to the next pay grade.

    City Solicitor Shelly Smith says they have precedent to impose the change because the unions are working without a contract.

    Smith: There’s a Commonwealth Court case from 2004 that determined that maintenance of the status quo did not include longevity and step increases of the kind of these collective bargaining agreements.

    The move is part of the city’s effort to save 25 million dollars in labor costs this year.

    The head of the white collar workers union says the city rejected their offer to extend the current contract. The union is expected to file a grievance which triggers binding arbitration

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