By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – City Council president Darrell Clarke gaveled the 2012 legislative session to a close last week, but he did so without ever scheduling a hearing on a pension reform plan submitted by Mayor Nutter way back in September.
It was three months ago that Mayor Nutter announced pay raises for non-unionized city workers, but at the same time he said he would impose a new, hybrid pension plan for new hires. That requires City Council approval.
But, for three months Council President Darrell Clarke has put off introducing the legislation. He says staffers are still studying it.
“It obviously has, to some degree, possible implications on the bargaining units with respects to municipal workers. So, whatever we do, we want to make sure we do with a thorough investigation and analysis of the proposal.”
In fact, Clarke says he has had discussions with a Baltimore consultant who had been earlier hired by Council to study another pension issue, the DROP program.
“There’s a possibility that we may enlist the services of the entity that provided support on the DROP legislation. We’re not sure yet, but we’re having preliminary conversations at this point.”
Mayor Nutter, for his part, is being patient.
“I take the President at what he’s said, which is their staff is doing their due diligence. I’m certainly hopeful that in the coming new year that the bill will go through the normal legislative process.”
This measure is a hot potato, because Nutter also wants a two-tier pension plan for the two unions representing blue- and white-collar city workers. Those unions, District Councils 33 and 47, have been without a contract for four years, with the talks stalled mainly on that pension issue.