Scranton, Penn. Mayor Chris Doherty used the nuclear option last week, saying the city was running out of money and cutting all city wages to $7.25 per hour.Employees are understandably flipping out.
President of the Firefighters Union John J. Judge IV told the NYT: “The teenagers who work at the ice cream stand not far from my house, they make $8.50 an hour — that’s a dollar and a quarter more than I now make.”
Judge says these cuts put people in actual physical risk: “When you’re a firefighter or police officer, all your tension has to be focused on the job ahead — it’s an emergency situation, it’s dangerous. And now they’ve got all this on their minds.”
Even if you blame the unions for impoverishing Scranton, its hard to support a policy like this.
What’s more it looks like the city broke the law. Doherty’s pay cuts violated a court injuction issued last week. Now the public employee unions are asking a judge to hold the mayor and the city in contempt of court, according to NYT’s Michael Cooper and Mary Williams Walsh.
The pay cuts are supposedly meant to bully the city council into raising taxes, including a 29 per cent immediate hike and a 78 per cent hike over three years, according to International Business Times.
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