Controller urges PICA to reject Philadelphia’s five year budget plan

The Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority is set to meet today to discuss the city of Philadelphia’s Five-Year plan. Philadelphia’s lead fiscal watchdog says the group should not sign off on it.

City Controller Alan Butkovitz says the five year plan has a major hole in it — no money to pay city workers more, who in some cases haven’t received a raise for three years. Butkovitz believes that there needs to be money in the five year plan to cover eventual raises once contract negotiations finally conclude.

“It is unreasonable to assume and unprecedented to expect the city will go for nine years without resolving contracts of its non-uniformed workers,” said Butkovitz. “The purpose of the PICA stature the purpose of PICA’s existence and the review of these plans is to assure that the city never gets into a surprise deficit situation.”

Rob Dubow, the city’s Finance Director, says the goal is to have the workers come up with savings to offset the cost of raises. Even though the firefighters have been awarded raises twice, Dubow says the city is appealing that arbitration ruling.

“Both awards were not consistent with the five year plan and I think we will be successful on our appeal,” said Dubow.

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