The owner of the Inquirer, Daily News, and philly.com says it may liquidate operations if it doesn’t reach new contracts with its labor unions by next Friday.
They even devised a song for the occasion.
The mayor is imposing a sweeping package of changes on non-unionized workers, including a 2½-percent pay raise, changes to overtime, and the possibility of furloughs.
Common Pleas Court judge Idee Fox heard nearly two hours of arguments on Monday from the city and the union over the arbitration award, which the city says it can’t afford.
The decision allows the county to bypass many civil service rules for a year to get the force up and running.
The contract covering unionized police officers doesn’t expire until the end of next year, but officials from both municipalities say they will take steps to dissolve the department.
Philadelphia’s teachers’ union got some national help to make their argument that schools can improve without the wholesale closings and charter takeovers that have been proposed.
The mayor’s aides deny the move is meant to ratchet up pressure on the two municipal unions that have been without a contract since 2009.
More than 500 police officers are meeting this week for the state Fraternal Order of Police conference in Philadelphia.
Owners of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News say they expect further concessions from the unions to cut costs.
The Philadelphia firefighters’ union took advantage of the national firefighters’ convention here to bring reinforcements to their demand for a new contract.
The city, claiming the award was too expensive, appealed the original arbitration award nearly two years ago.
The leader of the Philadelphia school district’s custodians’ union says concession talks have broken down. But the district says they’re simply “on hold.”
“Tropicana management has decided to intimidate the workers and scare them from exercising their union rights,” a union leader says.
The “show cause” hearing before Judge Daustino Fernandez-Vina pitted opponents of the regionalized police force against those in favor of it, including Camden mayor Dana Redd.
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