Philadelphia Civil Service Commission upholds Nutter contract terms

The Civil Service Commission in Philadelphia has rejected arguments from city workers’ unions that the Nutter administration is trying to impose contract terms. The dispute focuses on managers covered by the unions.

The commission denied more than three dozen requests by District Council 47, which represents about 900 managers in several city departments.

The union is asking to strike down terms imposed by the Nutter administration, including furloughs and overtime that only pays time-and-a-half, not double-time.

These are the same changes Nutter is imposing on non-unionized city workers while giving the first raises in five years.

Union response

Cathy Scott heads up District Council 47.

“[AFSCME] Local 2186 members have made it very clear that even though the mayor is attempting to make it seem like there is a raise, our members are quite good at doing arithmetic and they know losing significant amount of money with the action that is being taken here,” said Scott.

Shannon Farmer, the city’s outside counsel for labor issues, says the furloughs and overtime changes have been discussed and that’s all the city needs to do.

“Under the law the city doesn’t have an obligation to negotiate with 2186. We have an obligation to meet and discuss,” said Farmer. “Furloughs have been proposed to 2186 from the very beginning, so we are talking about three plus years at this point.”

The union plans to appeal the Civil Service Commission ruling.

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