By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Three days after Mayor Nutter settled a long-stalled contract negotiation with the smaller city workers union, his administration is resuming talks today with the larger union.
Both District Councils 33, the blue collar union, and DC 47, the white collar union, had been without contracts since 2009. But now 47 has a deal, pending ratification, and that may give some impetus to speeding up a settlement between the city and 33. And those negotiations resume today.
City Council President Darrell Clarke, who is following the talks but not directly involved, says the 47 deal is not necessarily a blueprint for 33, “There are some issues in the 47 contract that 33 may not be comfortable with. But I’m glad that they’re sitting down in a very aggressive way. And hopefully within the next several days we’ll get some conclusion of this municipal contract issue.”
Among other things, Nutter wants the right to furlough workers in DC33. But in his deal with 47, he backed off on furloughs and instead received revisions to the contractual language on layoffs.
Nutter delivers his budget to City Council next week. Last year, his budget address was disrupted by workers protesting the stalled contract talks, and the mayor was forced to complete the address in his own reception room. Clarke now hopes that a settlement soon will avoid a repeat, “I’m an optimistic. I’m hoping that we get to some consensus on the contract and conclude, before the March 6th budget message. I’m always an optimist, and I think we’ll get something done.”
Other sticking points include changes to work rules, pension reform and health care contributions.