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Tue Jul 10, 2012, 05:15 PM

Scranton ignores judge's ruling, cuts worker pay to minimum wage

Source: Los Angeles Times

Scranton ignores judge's ruling, cuts worker pay to minimum wage
By Michael Muskal
July 10, 2012, 10:46 a.m.

“You get what you pay for,” goes the proverb, and that might worry residents of Scranton, Pa. The city government has unilaterally slashed the pay of firefighters, police and public works employees to the minimum.

Lawyers for the unionized workers, whose pay was sharply cut -- by around two-thirds in some cases -- to the minimum of $7.25 an hour, filed Tuesday for a contempt hearing against Mayor Chris Doherty. A judge last week had ruled that the mayor could not cut the pay for almost 400 workers. The mayor did so anyway, arguing that there wasn't enough money in the city coffers to pay the owed payroll on time.

Judges do not indulge defendants who violate their rulings, said lawyer Thomas W. Jennings, who represents the unions fighting the mayor and the city -- the International Assn. of Firefighters Local 60, the Fraternal Order of Police E.B. Jermyn Lodge 2 and the International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 2305.

Nor was Jennings impressed by the officials’ tough talk. “I’ve been doing this for 40 years and I have never seen a defendant tougher than a judge,” Jennings said in a telephone interview with the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday.



Read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-scranton-employees-minimum-wage-20120710,0,6536097.story

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Reply Scranton ignores judge's ruling, cuts worker pay to minimum wage (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jul 2012 OP
Canuckistanian Jul 2012 #1
may3rd Jul 2012 #14
Faygo Kid Jul 2012 #2
TBF Jul 2012 #5
Skittles Jul 2012 #16
kelly1mm Jul 2012 #3
TBF Jul 2012 #4
CreekDog Jul 2012 #13
may3rd Jul 2012 #15
DBoon Jul 2012 #18
bluestateguy Jul 2012 #6
mike_c Jul 2012 #7
flobee1 Jul 2012 #26
sofa king Jul 2012 #27
Iliyah Jul 2012 #8
Confusious Jul 2012 #9
Akoto Jul 2012 #10
PavePusher Jul 2012 #23
magical thyme Jul 2012 #11
former9thward Jul 2012 #12
HooptieWagon Jul 2012 #17
Odin2005 Jul 2012 #19
Sanddancer Jul 2012 #20
kemah Jul 2012 #21
eringer Jul 2012 #22
wordpix Jul 2012 #24
happyslug Jul 2012 #25

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 05:25 PM

1. To Hell with collective agreements

They're just going to pay all their first responders the same wage that a 7-11 employee gets.

This is a nightmare for Scranton - firefighters and police WILL leave and recruitment will stop dead.

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Response to Canuckistanian (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 08:51 PM

14. In another cities news; "Judge: Detroit does not have to bargain with union"

 

....The ruling by Ingham County Circuit Judge Paula Manderfield means the union's 2,130 members have no idea how much they are being paid.
.....

"The city has not revealed their terms of employment," association President Joe Duncan said

....

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014162325#post10

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 05:35 PM

2. Lead story on CBS News tonight.

GOP's solution: More tax cuts for the rich! Who needs basic services! Why should these workers make a livable wage, they work for the GOVERNMENT! Lay off more government employees and keep unemployment high to beat Obummer! Hoorah for offshore bank accounts!

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Response to Faygo Kid (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 06:09 PM

5. That's about it - and it will not stop with Detroit and Scranton. nt

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Response to TBF (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 09:59 PM

16. it will sweep across the country

then when public employee wages are thoroughly trashed, the private sector wages will go down, down, down

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 05:46 PM

3. Where will the money come from? They may not have the money in the bank to pay. From the link:

"The next payroll of about $1 million is scheduled for July 20, and it was unclear if the city had enough money to write the checks. If the city again goes the minimum wage route, the payroll cost drops to about $300,000, but city officials have said they will pay the owed wages when – and if – the current problems are resolved.

As of Monday, the city had $133,000 in cash, but owed $3.4 million in various bills including health insurance, city Business Administrator Ryan McGowan told the Times-Tribune. Last week, the city treasury shrank to $5,000 on Thursday and $83,000 on Friday."

If they write the checks and they bounce how are the workers better off?

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Response to kelly1mm (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 06:08 PM

4. We've been discussing this - and we are way beyond that.

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Response to kelly1mm (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 08:45 PM

13. Furlough based on seniority

They likely have a contract with the workers and one way would be in compliance with that -unilateral pay cuts would not. Negotiated concessions would probably be accepted at some level.

But this? Nope.

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Response to kelly1mm (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 09:18 PM

15. I heard the city had $5,000 in the bank accounts after next payroll is cut

 

corrupt politicians anyone ????


Maybe when the city hits up the voters for a new levy or hold a bake sale,
the voters will say "They gave at the office"



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Response to kelly1mm (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 11:46 PM

18. "Where will the money come from?"

I'm sure the round-off error from various offshore accounts would be more than enough to pay for this protection.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 06:22 PM

6. Yes you get what you pay for

They want to pay minimum wage, then the employees should reciprocate with that same level of effort and work.

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #6)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 06:46 PM

7. no, they should withhold their labor altogether...

...and hopefully the striking fire fighters get the opportunity to jeer from across the street while the mayor's house burns. But seriously, this is unilateral imposition of terms and conditions of work. If those workers have a collective bargaining agreement, AKA a contract, it undoubtedly contains a concerted action clause saying something along the lines of "we will not strike as long as this contract remains in effect between the parties." The city has violated the contract, releasing city workers from the no-strike clause. I hope the workers are organizing their strike at this very moment.

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #6)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 05:29 PM

26. they will

unfortunately

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #6)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 05:47 PM

27. You want them to work harder?

The people who make the least work the hardest, every time. You're lucky not to have experienced that yet.

But there's a pretty good chance a lot of you will if Jeb comes around.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 06:49 PM

8. One thing they can do is raise the taxes

especially on the ones that DO NOT PAY THEIR FAIR - SHARED TAXES and they refuse to do so. I guess the wealthy can afford their private police and private firefighters and fuck the rest of us and if you afford the basic public services screw you....and screw the public workers as well. Destroy the Unions cause they fight for the workers and the corporations can't have that.

Corporation only want to pay everyone minimum wage with health care vouchers AND each person or family have to pay their own protection costs, i.e. police, firefighters, teachers, overall public services.

I remember a story I think last year where in a particular town residence had to pay for their own protection such as fire protection. One family did not and when their home caught fire, the private fire department refused to save the home. I think their neighbors ignored them as well. How "Christian" of them.

The GOP want YOU to believe that they are the model Christians. GOP are always spouting how Christian they are and this country was founded on Christianity. I'm I missing something?

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Response to Iliyah (Reply #8)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 07:30 PM

9. I remember that story

The thing was, the county the guy lived in voted not to have fire protection, so they had to pay the city for it.

The thing was, the county was rich and the city poor, and the city had no way to enforce payment, so some of the rich in the county decided they could make the poor pay for their fire protection.

The city finally got tired of it and wouldn't put out the fire.

Sad for the guy, but someone finally got tired of paying for the rich, and I think it's a good thing. Finally get to see what happens when you vote for those republican policies.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 07:46 PM

10. Judge tells you not to do something. You do it. Isn't that called a crime? n/t

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Response to Akoto (Reply #10)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 12:43 PM

23. I'm not sure it's a crime, but certainly "contempt of court". n/t

 

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 08:08 PM

11. Can't help but wonder what the mayor's paycheck was? Minimum? nt

 

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #11)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 08:23 PM

12. Yes it was.

He reduced everyone in the city to the minimum including himself.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 11:45 PM

17. Y'all are jumping to conclusions.

 

Industry and jobs gone. Half the population gone (probably those who had money to leave). Dem Mayor tried to raise taxes, Dem city council refused to raise taxes. State wont permit city to file for bankruptcy. Laying off FD and PD costs city money for unemployment and overtime for remaimder. They are literally between a rock and a hard place. Welcome to austerity.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 08:01 AM

19. Blame the voters for not raising taxes, not the city government.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 08:15 AM

20. I hear that Scranton is about half the size it should be.

 

.....based on the number of public workers employed there. It used to be a city of 150,000 but is now half that size.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 08:37 AM

21. A tea bagger and gop wet dream come true.

This is exactly what the tea baggers and the gop want to do to all public employees. Part time minimum wage.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 10:08 AM

22. Federal Workers Take Note! This is what will happen with Romney as President

The GOP has put a target on the back of every local, state and federal employee as a means of getting votes. Romney will continue the war on the federal employee that George W. Bush started when he came into office (and was interrupted briefly by 911) -- I know as I saw it happening first-hand. He will exempt his Scedule C (presidential appointee folks) and launch an attack on federal employees (both active and retirees) not seen before in this country. The more he bashes the more the tea party will rejoice. Once he begins his attack on the federal workforce, the military will be next. He will not cease until he destroys both.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 01:19 PM

24. What's the mayor's salary? Did he cut his own pay?

Just wonderin'

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 03:56 PM

25. Sounds like a Mayor vs Council fight.

 

http://www.scrantonpa.gov/

The Scranton Newspaper:
http://thetimes-tribune.com/

Scranton police, fire and DPW unions file motion for contempt against mayor who slashed salaries:
http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/scranton-police-fire-and-dpw-unions-file-motion-for-contempt-against-mayor-who-slashed-salaries-1.1341634

On Tuesday, he also again repeated his assertions that the crisis has stemmed from city council reducing his proposed tax hikes and instead relying on borrowing and refinancing to balance the budget, neither of which the city can obtain without a realistic recovery plan.

Wary banks want a new recovery plan before they again would consider providing loans or financing that the city needs to fill a $16.8 million budget gap this year, the mayor has said. He has proposed a 78 percent tax hike over three years and garbage fee hikes.

But council has refused to go along with any tax hikes over 10 percent each year and instead wants to fill the gaps with alternative revenue sources, such as increased contributions from nonprofits and commuter, sales and payroll taxes. The mayor has said council ideas won't occur quickly and won't produce enough revenue.


City leaders hit the national news shows circuit
http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/city-leaders-hit-the-national-news-shows-circuit-1.1341938

Scranton mayor to amend revised recovery plan
http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/scranton-mayor-to-amend-revised-recovery-plan-1.1341937

That's because a key plank of that plan, a $5.4 million sale of the city's stormwater conveyance system to the Scranton Sewer Authority, cannot be done. The authority already owns the city's stormwater lines, and has since the SSA inception in the late 1960s, officials have said.

i.e. the recovery plan has to be "adjusted" for it was based on selling the storm water lines to the Sewer Authority, but the Sewer Authority had owned them since the 1960s i.e. Selling something Scranton has not OWNED since the 1960s.

The real problem is the Mayor wants to raise taxes, but the Council does NOT want to. Something has to give and its looks like the Mayor is trying to force the City Council to raise taxes.

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