Philadelphia, February 5, 2013 – The City of Philadelphia today filed a petition with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court asking it to use its King’s Bench powers to take immediate jurisdiction over the City’s lawsuit to break the deadlock in labor negotiations with AFSCME District Council 33.
“Days ago, the City filed an important action seeking a declaratory judgment in connection with our belief that after almost four years of collective bargaining we are at impasse with AFSCME District Council 33 and should have the right to break that deadlock,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “We filed this case in Common Pleas Court and I’m certain that any decision there will ultimately be appealed to the state Supreme Court. Since this matter is of such pressing public consequence to city employees and taxpayers locally, as well as public employers throughout the Commonwealth, we are asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in today’s filing to assume jurisdiction immediately over this matter.”
The Mayor said his goal is to achieve a contract that is both fair to hard-working city employees and to the city’s taxpayers. The city’s proposed contract calls for a 2.5 percent raise 30 days after the contract takes effect, followed by a second raise of 2 percent on Jan. 1, 2014. It also restores prospectively all step and longevity increases for District Council 33 members. In exchange, it provides for pension reform and new work rules on furloughs and overtime.
The City’s filing noted, “The Union is holding taxpayers and public employees of the City hostage despite the City’s offer of increased wages and the City’s need for the reforms that it seeks in the negotiations.”