City of Scranton Mayor Slashes ALL city employees pay to minimum wage

Hudson

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Short on cash, Doherty slashes wages
Faced with a serious cash crunch and headed to court Thursday to deal with it, Mayor Chris Doherty informed the city's more than 400 union and non-union workers Wednesday that he's unilaterally slashing their pay to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour starting with the July 6 payday.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/48182083/scranton/paycuts.pdf

Mr. Doherty said he's including himself in the pay cut as he prepared to go to court on his request to have a judge order his financial recovery plan implemented or the City Council to vote on it. He filed suit to do that last week.
Firefighters union president John Judge accused the mayor of taking the drastic step to create pressure on the eve of the court date. Mr. Judge vowed the union, whose salaries are guaranteed by contract, will fight the move.

"We can't let it stand, it's a violation of our contract," he said.

The leaders of other city unions and City Council members could not immediately be reached for comment.

The mayor says he needs a recovery plan right away because without one the city cannot convince banks to sell $16.8 million in bonds on the city's behalf. The money will raise $9.85 milion to pay city bills and refinance existing bonds at a lower interest rate to save money.

As of June 20, the city had about $3.5 million in unpaid bills, including $2 million in unpaid health insurance premiums and $150,000 in unpaid gasoline bills, according to its suit.

Mr. Doherty and the council have been at odds over the recovery plan, which the council has refused to pass until the mayor takes its proposals for the plan seriously. The mayor says the council's proposals will not raise enough money and not soon enough. He is proposing a 78 percent property tax hike over the next three years instead as part of his recovery plan.
http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/short-on-cash-doherty-slashes-wages-1.1335736 This won't cause ANY problems.
 

CousinDave

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#4
Everybody else has had to suffer since the events of January 2007, its time the bureaucrats learn to sacrifice as well

Everybody else has been having to do with less, so they're not going to get any sympathy from most people
 

whiskeyguy

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#6
Since the unions are probably at least part of the reason the city is in such bad debt, fine with me. They often extort governments into signing their contracts, and then refuse to renegotiate to any reasonable extent in recessions.

Some of these morons actually think raising property taxes 78% is an answer... chase out what taxpayers you have left and see how well you can afford those union employees.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

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#7
January 2007....gosh, what happened in January 2007....."whaa"
I scored a bitchin' deal on a piece of real estate. 2 bed, 1 bath on a tenth of an acre of $650,000. Guy wanted $675,000 but he was no match for my shrewd negotiating skills! Hey, it's real estate, no way it would ever go down in price. They aren't making more land, you know!
 

Hudson

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Bold move but probably unconstitutional. Does the Mayor control salaries in PA?
No..Part of the problem is the Fireman's union. There are people who should have retired still working...Scranton sent back half of a government grant earmarked for new gear and training of new firefighters, because these guys are growing their pensions and not retiring, so there is no room for new firefighters. I don't know about the other Unions.
 

Party Rooster

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#10
California does this all the time. Workers continue working for minimum wage during a budget crisis. When the media stops paying attention, they get a nice big fat check for their back pay.
 

Hudson

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Since the unions are probably at least part of the reason the city is in such bad debt, fine with me. They often extort governments into signing their contracts, and then refuse to renegotiate to any reasonable extent in recessions.

Some of these morons actually think raising property taxes 78% is an answer... chase out what taxpayers you have left and see how well you can afford those union employees.
The city began chasing out businesses years ago. Raising taxes 30 to 50 % every other year. Increasing the commuter tax, and having businesses that rent also pay a tax for renting.
 

mascan42

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#12
Since the unions are probably at least part of the reason the city is in such bad debt, fine with me. They often extort governments into signing their contracts, and then refuse to renegotiate to any reasonable extent in recessions.

Some of these morons actually think raising property taxes 78% is an answer... chase out what taxpayers you have left and see how well you can afford those union employees.
Read it again. It's the mayor who wants to raise the property taxes. His city is so well-run that even after he cuts everyone's pay to minimum wage, and he still wants to bleed the taxpayers dry.

And he wants to slash the salaries of the non-union workers, too. So there goes that argument.
 

thekidslepthere

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#13
In the next decade every major city in California should go bankrupt, if not the entire state.

This is from an old article about the great work of Gray Davis and his Democratic controlled legislature.

That, however, is not what outrages Mr Schwarzenegger, a Republican, or his brainy economic adviser David Crane, a Democrat. Rather, it is that the pension plans—above all the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest such scheme in America—pretended that this generosity would not cost anything. In 1999 the dotcom bubble was still inflating, and the plans’ actuaries predicted that their retirement funds would gain enough value to pay the increased pensions. By implication, they assumed that the Dow Jones Industrial Average would reach 25,000 in 2009 and 28m in 2099.
 

whiskeyguy

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#14
The city began chasing out businesses years ago. Raising taxes 30 to 50 % every other year. Increasing the commuter tax, and having businesses that rent also pay a tax for renting.
That's exactly what happens in areas like this, and California is a decent example. You keep spending money, much of it under iron-clad contracts, and then alienate the people who provide that money, motivating them to leave. This is usually done during times of prosperity, but of course when that recession hits income is reduced, and since you can't get out of those contracts you have to try and increase revenue through taxation, further alienating the taxpayers.

Read it again. It's the mayor who wants to raise the property taxes. His city is so well-run that even after he cuts everyone's pay to minimum wage, and he still wants to bleed the taxpayers dry.

And he wants to slash the salaries of the non-union workers, too. So there goes that argument.
I read it that the city council wanted to do something along the same lines as his property tax hike, but the article is a little confusing on that part. He's a moron for suggesting it also.

My argument regarding unions still stand. Unions caused the problem, but they are never the only ones who pay for it... hell sometimes they fight to the death to not even accept minimal responsibility, in the form of reduced compensation.

The city is nearing bankruptcy, and cannot cut costs due to unions. That is a major problem.
 

thekidslepthere

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#15
I'm such a dummy, I looked at this really quick, saw some other Californians posting and thought this was about Stockton, which just declared bankruptcy last night.
 

Hudson

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That's exactly what happens in areas like this, and California is a decent example. You keep spending money, much of it under iron-clad contracts, and then alienate the people who provide that money, motivating them to leave. This is usually done during times of prosperity, but of course when that recession hits income is reduced, and since you can't get out of those contracts you have to try and increase revenue through taxation, further alienating the taxpayers.



I read it that the city council wanted to do something along the same lines as his property tax hike, but the article is a little confusing on that part. He's a moron for suggesting it also.

My argument regarding unions still stand. Unions caused the problem, but they are never the only ones who pay for it... hell sometimes they fight to the death to not even accept minimal responsibility, in the form of reduced compensation.

The city is nearing bankruptcy, and cannot cut costs due to unions. That is a major problem.
You'd have to go through the archives of the paper to see all the BS going on. The Mayor is butting Heads with the city council as well as the Firefighter union. Problem is... millions went out for the medical school, which is floundering horribly, Millions went out redo the sidewalks of the University of Scranton, which owns half of the property on one of the two main streets of the city. The UofS pays no taxes because of it being a Catholic Institution. The City does nothing to block purchase and redevelopment of the properties that the University is gobbling up because it is "good for the city" and well, there are possibly shady casino owning/not casino owning, elements involved as well."All you have to bring is your love of everything!", indeed.
 

mascan42

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#18
If the government is broke, too fucking bad. Government service isn't supposed to be a way to get rich.
But it is at least supposed to be a way to make a halfway-decent living. Again, this is ALL government workers, down to the fucking secretary at the assessor's office. Not just the unions. EVERYONE!!!! [/Gary Oldman]
 

lajikal

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#19
Ohh noo.. Yahh don't sayy.
 

whiskeyguy

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#20
But it is at least supposed to be a way to make a halfway-decent living. Again, this is ALL government workers, down to the fucking secretary at the assessor's office. Not just the unions. EVERYONE!!!! [/Gary Oldman]
Which is why people should fight the unions before they get into this situation. When unions started they represented a noble cause in getting minors hard hats and dust masks... now they extort every dime they can from the taxpayers, while removing accountability from the taxpayers.

The fucked up thing is, the mayor may only have the legal authority to cut the pay of the non-union workers. So the unions help cause the mess, and will face no consequences while the non-union workers and taxpayers will.
 

NuttyJim

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#22
No..Part of the problem is the Fireman's union. There are people who should have retired still working...Scranton sent back half of a government grant earmarked for new gear and training of new firefighters, because these guys are growing their pensions and not retiring, so there is no room for new firefighters. I don't know about the other Unions.
just to play Devils Advocate, would you retire in todays economy when you can still work and get a great salary and benefits.
 

NuttyJim

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#23
if you want to do something to fix the pay of certain job types (police, fire, teachers) you can't fuck with existing personnel because you agreed on their contract and now times are tough. Start changing the new hires. Nobody gave a fuck about these jobs throughout the years but now that the economy is in the shitter everyone all of a sudden gives a shit and is shocked. Be shocked and disgusted, but be shocked and disgusted at your town and council as well because they agreed upon the terms of these contracts.
 

Hudson

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just to play Devils Advocate, would you retire in todays economy when you can still work and get a great salary and benefits.
But they are getting their pension and a salary. We have one guy who was injured in the reserves while in Afghanistan. He pulls a salary and is on "disability" yet he is fighting in semi pro MMA matches. The city tried to lay him off and not only was the union involved but the JAG lawyers.
 

NuttyJim

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#25
But they are getting their pension and a salary.
Depends, some civil service jobs you lose money continuing to work after eligible to retire. Some people where they can retire do so and get a part time gig doing few hours a week. It depends on the retirement and money situation mainly. If you only retire with 45-50% and can't collect for another 10 years (figuring retirement is 20-25 years or mandatory retirement at 57) and have young kids or kids in college or still paying mortgage or other bills then it makes sense to stay.