By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For the first time since July 1, 2009, Philadelphia’s largest municipal workers’ union has a contract.
District Council 33 — representing nearly 10,000 current and former blue-collar city workers — has overwhelmingly ratified its new contract with the city — a contract that took five contentious years to negotiate.
Members voted by mail, with about 95 percent of those who cast ballots voting in favor of the new agreement (4,492 yes, 213 no).
The agreement provides no retroactive pay raise, but workers do get a $2,800 bonus and two years of raises going forward.
The contract expires on July 1, 2016.
The Nutter administration gained some modest health care plan reforms, a two-tiered pension system for new hires, and higher contributions to the plan by current workers.
Pete Matthews, head of DC 33, issued a statement following the ratification. “I want to thank the membership for their support and I look forward to being back in negotiations in early 2016, with a new mayor,” he said.
Now the focus shifts to city government, as Mayor Nutter’s budget experts must find a way to pay for the deal, estimated to cost the city an extra $127 million over the next five years. The mayor must submit a revised five-year spending plan to state officials within twenty days.