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Philadelphia City Council Votes To Keep DROP, With Modifications

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Philadelphia City Council today voted to tweak the controversial lump-sum pension perk known as "DROP,"  turning its back on the mayor's call to abolish the program.

Today's hearing drew both opponents and supporters of DROP, including politicians, activists, and average citizens.

Zack Stalberg, of the watchdog group Committee of Seventy, called for the elimination of DROP.

"The public hates the DROP program.  It has become the symbol for arrogance and entitlement," he said.

But leaders of the city's four municipal workers' unions said DROP should survive, and accused the news media of fueling the DROP controversy.

"Our daily newspapers are now revealing their true anti-worker goals," said Cathy Scott of District Council 47, which represents the city's white-collar workers.

And Pete Matthews, of District Council 33, the larger union that represents blue-collar workers, hinted at legal action.

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"Changes that the city implements outside of the collective bargaining process will have legal consequences," he told KYW Newsradio.

The vote was 15-2 as Council opted to revise DROP rather than abolish it outright, as the mayor wants (see related story).  Nutter is expected to veto the bill, but 15 votes is sufficient for a veto override.

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio 1060

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