Mayor Nutter, DC 47 reach a contract deal

PHILADELPHIA - February 25, 2014

"I'm very pleased to announce that our Administration's labor team a short time ago came to an agreement with representatives from AFSCME District Council 47 on an 8-year contract that provides critically important reforms in the areas of pensions, healthcare and work rules, while providing pay raises for thousands of members of this union," said Mayor Nutter.

Mayor Nutter said in a statement released Tuesday night that the agreement has been a long time coming and has not been an easy process.

"What we've achieved today in partnership is significant and historic. And it's proof that when people who are committed to our city's future sit down for an honest exchange, we can achieve anything," said Mayor Nutter.

The term of the contract runs from July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2017.

For the second time in a row, the city has reached a contract agreement with another union after members replaced their president.

Mayor Michael Nutter went out of his way to praise the new DC 47 president as a man willing to listen and compromise.

It was a historic moment. 3,500 union member of District Council 47 had been without a contract since 2009. There had been some contentious and heated issues which centered on furloughs, healthcare and pension reform.

Back in September, the union ousted its president, Cathy Scott and put Fred Wright in charge and everything changed.

"Fred Wright is a man of integrity, he is a man of his word, he is a hard working serious focused individual who I have come to enjoy working with," said Mayor Michael Nutter.

"Both sides came together, they heard each other and came to a fair contract that I think is fair for our members that we will endorse for ratification next week," said Fred Wright.

The new contract that goes through June 2017, provides for $2,000 bonuses per person, a 3.5 % raise this year, 2.5% in 2015 and 3% in 2016.

It also calls for employee to pay more for their pension: .05% in 2015 and another .05% in 2016.

The contract also calls for reforms in overtime, health and welfare, and the city's ability to lay off employees to avoid financial crisis.

"We reached this day because of compromise; compromise is not a bad word and actually it leads to productive results," said Mayor Nutter.

The city also reached an agreement with firefighters last September after the union threw out union president Bill Gault and replaced him with Joseph Schule, who campaigned on healing relations with the Mayor.

Now the question is how negotiations will move forward with DC 33 and President Pete Mathews, who has also had a contentious relationship with Mayor Nutter.

"They are at the table now, and we are excited about that, and the way we make progress as we made today is by being at the table and both sides I think actually listening," said Mayor Nutter.

Action News reached out to Pete Matthew but were unable to get a response.

DC 33 has been without a contract for 5 years. Both sides come back to the negotiating table on Friday.

Contract Terms Summary
TERM: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2017
Ratification bonus of $2,000 per person

Effective 30 days after ratification, there shall be an across the board wage increase of 3.5% Effective July 1, 2015, there shall be an across the board wage increase of 2.5% Effective July 1, 2016, there shall be an across the board wage increase of 3%

Effective January 1, 2015, employee pension contributions increase by .5% of pay.
Effective January 1, 2016, employee pension contributions increase by an additional .5% of pay.
New hires either go into Plan 10 or pay an additional 1% of pay, which will go up as the contributions for current employees do up to an additional 2% of pay as of January 1, 2016.
Current employees have 90 days to elect to move into Plan 10.

Effective July 1, 2014, the overtime rate for all employees who are entitled to cash overtime will be based on their EP pay range and step.
Effective January 1, 2015, sick time will not be counted as hours worked for purposes of determining when overtime is due on a weekly basis.

Through December 31, 2014, the City's contribution to the health fund will be $1,100 per member per month. In addition, the City will make a one-time lump sum payment to the health fund of $5 million.

Effective January 1, 2015, the health fund will move to a self-insured arrangement and the City will pay only the cost of benefits and administration.

Effective January 1, 2015, the employee contributions will be set at no less than 9% of projected total cost. The health fund will continue to maintain an aggressive wellness program, including financial incentives.

LAYOFF/FURLOUGHS: In lieu of creating a separate mechanism for furloughs or temporary layoffs, the Union agrees to support the change to civil service regulations to allow the City to streamline the layoff process through a change in calculation of the layoff score and to change the pension ordinance to provide that a layoff of fewer than 15 consecutive days will not be considered a separation for purposes of the DROP to prevent employees who are in the DROP from experiencing a permanent separation as a result of a temporary layoff.

CONTRACTING OUT: The parties agree to a pilot program to evaluate the use of contract pharmacists in the Department of Public Health.

WORKPLACE VIOLENCE PROGRAM: The City will contribute $50,000 to the AFSCME DC 47 Health and Welfare Fund for FY2014 through FY2017 to continue the Workplace Violence Prevention Program.

GRANT-FUNDED POSITIONS: The parties will continue the 2008 pilot program regarding grant-funded positions in the Health Department.

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