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War Of Words Between Nutter Administration And Blue-Collar Workers Union Continues

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DC 33 President Pete Matthews at the mic. (Credit: Tim Jimenez/KYW Newsradio)

DC 33 President Pete Matthews at the mic. (Credit: Tim Jimenez/KYW Newsradio)

Tim Jimenez Tim Jimenez
Tim Jimenez is a general assignment reporter at KYW Newsradio...
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By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The war of words between Philadelphia’s blue-collar workers union and the Nutter administration continued Wednesday, when District Council 33 had an evening press conference.

The Nutter administration is asking the state Supreme Court for a ruling on whether they can impose its final contract offer on District Council 33, saying a decision in the lower court would have been appealed anyway. Union Chief Pete Matthews called this move and its possible implications an assault on all public sector unions.

“And now to go to the Supreme Court, like we said, this is the Scott Walker of the East,” Matthews said.

Referring to Republican Governor of Wisconsin, who has clashed with state unions, Mayor Nutter responded, “I’m not getting into name calling and characterizations. The bottom line is that collective bargaining takes place at a bargaining table.”

The mayor says negotiations are at an impasse; Matthews says they are not and the union is still willing to negotiate.

The three issues keeping both sides apart are a two-tier pension system for new hires, the right to furlough and a change of overtime rules. DC 33 has been without a deal since 2009.

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