Nutter pressures city labor unions with ‘final offer’

By Bob Warner, Philly.com

The Nutter administration tried Wednesday to ratchet up pressure toward new municipal labor agreements, offering modest pay increases to AFSCME District Council 33 and describing the package as the city’s “final offer” to end a four-year labor standoff.

The city continues to demand sharply reduced pensions for new employees, the authority to furlough workers for up to three weeks a year, and new work rules to cut overtime.

Mayor Nutter and other city officials hinted at the possibility of trying to impose contract terms if they are unable to reach an agreement by Jan. 30.

“This proposal is a final offer to D.C. 33, and that is precisely what we told the union negotiating team earlier today,” Nutter told reporters Wednesday night. “We have reached deadlock in these negotiations. We are at impasse.”

But the administration would not make its threat explicit. The city’s chief negotiator, Shannon D. Farmer, said in a letter to D.C. 33 officials that they had until Jan. 30 to reach agreement or “the city will have no choice but to evaluate all the options available to it to bring an end to this stalemate.”

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20130117

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