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Mayor Nutter Delivers "Final Offer" To City Workers

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Mayor Nutter on Wednesday delivered what he calls his "final offer" to the largest city worker union, District Council 33. The union rejected the proposal, prompting Nutter to declare that the talks are deadlocked.

Negotiators for the Nutter administration have presented to DC 33 a proposal for a five-year contract dating back to when the last deal expired in 2009.

It offers no retro pay, a 2.5% wage hike from the date of ratification through January 1, 2014, then a 2% wage hike from January 1, 2014 through July 1, 2014.

The offer, like previous administration offers, also calls for changes in the union's pension plan, and allows for furloughs. Those matters prompted the head of DC33, Pete Matthews, to reject the proposal.

"The mayor wants to dictate terms. He does not want to negotiate. Its his way or no way. That's the problem with the mayor."

Mayor Nutter says that leaves both sides at an impasse.

"We have reached, unfortunately, a deadlock in the negotiations," he said.

Nutter says the union has until the end of the month to respond, at which point other options will be considered. Aides say those options could include the imposition of contract terms or court intervention. Matthews, though, vows to be back at the table by that time, so long as furloughs are off the table.

The last contracts between the city and DC 33 and 47 expired in Nutter's first year in office, 2008. At that point both unions agreed to one-year extensions, which expired on July 1, 2009. Both unions have been working without a contract since then.

Negotiations appear to have stalled over the mayor's insistence for a two-tier pension plan similar to what he is now seeking for the non-unionized workers. Current employees could stay in the existing plan. The unions are resistant to a split plan. DC 33 represents about 6800 employees.


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