City Council passed legislation sponsored by Wilson Goode, Jr. Thursday urging Mayor Michael Nutter to negotiate a fair contract with the city's municipal workers.
Representatives from AFSCME District Council 33 and D.C. 47 swarmed the podium during public testimony to talk about hardships they and their families have suffered as a result of not receiving raises or increased contributions to their pension funds in the three years they have gone without a contract.
"We all know the mayor wants to be a dictator and have come to the point where we all know the mayor wants to break this union," said D.C. 33 president Pete Matthews. "We’re calling on the fairness of you, City Council to get the mayor back to table."
Matthews claims that the unions have saved the city nearly $150 million over the past four years in health and welfare and lobbied for Nutter-backed initiatives like the increase in municipal sales tax and pension adjustments while receiving nothing in return. "Absolutely we feel he is anti-union," he said of Mayor Michael Nutter.
Nutter responded that the situation needed to be viewed in the context of two things: that the union was trying to negotiate a contract and that Matthews is readying a run for reelection as president. "I want a fair contract that is also fair for taxpayers," he said.