By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The largest city workers union — which has been without a contract for five years — is asking City Council to delay passage of the budget until the union works out a deal with the Mayor Michael Nutter.
Pete Matthews, head of District Council 33, addressed City Council and asked the lawmakers to hold off on next week’s expected budget passed until his union gets a new contract.
“What we want you to do is hold up on this budget until we get this thing resolved,” Matthews said. “We are asking you to do this, so that we can personal stuff out there, so that we can sit down and work this agreement out. We want to work this out.”
Mayor Nutter later said Matthews himself cancelled the last negotiating session.
“We’re ready, morning, noon and night, anytime, anywhere, any place to meet,” Nutter said. “But you have to have someone to meet with. I have to wonder whether he even wants a contract for his members, or just wants to maintain the status quo and never come an agreement.”
Council President Darrell Clarke was non-committal as to whether he would delay the budget vote.
“It would premature to have that conversation,” Clarke said. “We still have another session of council next week. We’ll address it at that particular time.”
Council’s final scheduled meeting of the spring is next Thursday, at which point a final budget vote is expected. The union, representing blue collar city workers, has been without a deal since 2009. The white collar union, District Council 47, settled its long-stalled negotiations earlier this year after members voted in a new leader.