City, unions prepare for tough contract talks

    By: Tom MacDonald

    Philadelphia labor unions are working under a one-year contract that ends on June 30th. With budget talks approaching, the city and union are beginning to square off on contentious issues like health care.

    By: Tom MacDonald
    tmacdonald@whyy.org

    Philadelphia labor unions are working under a one-year contract that ends on June 30th.  WHYY’s Tom MacDonald reports with budget talks approaching, the city and union are beginning to square off on contentious issues like health care.

    Script:
    Cathy Scott is the head of DC47, the white-collar workers union in the city.  She says consolidating the union’s health plan with other city unions won’t work.

    Scott: “Health care is driven by two factors: utilization and demographics.  Unless a 49-year-old married person with three children becomes a 21-year-old single person there are not going to be savings in health care.”

    Mayor Nutter disagrees.

    Nutter: “There are a number of ways that the city could save money through any number of changes in work rules, work conditions or other committments or obligations that we have.”

    The mayor says a joint union-city task force on health care still hasn’t completed its work on the issue.

    Listen:
    Click on the play button below or right click on this link and choose “Save Link As” to download.

    [audio: reports20090302union.mp3]

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