By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – City Council passed a budget last month, but the Nutter Administration’s financial woes are from over. This coming week the mayor must deliver a long-range spending plan to state officials.
PICA (Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority), the state agency that oversees Philadelphia’s finances, will receive the Nutter Administration’s latest five-year budget this week.
PICA chairman Sam Katz, the former mayoral candidate, says one key issue is the long-unsettled contracts with the blue-collar and white-collar city worker unions, District 33 and District 47.
Right now, Katz says, the five-year plan currently reflects no additional labor costs.
“The big issue for PICA is the reasonableness of an assumption that the labor contracts are going to result in the same zero percent that’s in the plan now.”
Another issue for PICA is whether the new plan will reflect an arbitrator’s recent award to city firefighters. The mayor has yet to decide whether to again appeal that award in court.
Finance Director Rob Dubow doesn’t know how the plan being prepared for PICA will reflect that.
“We’re still having discussions in the Administration about how to do that,” Dubow said.
PICA’s Katz does admit that recent improvements in the city’s tax revenue outlook could result in healthier fund balances that might prove to be, in his words “sufficient to cover the cost of an outcome with the firefighters.”