Scranton unions sue mayor over city worker pay cut
President of firefighters union slams move to minimum wage
- Duration 5:41
- Date Jul 12, 2012
President of firefighters union slams move to minimum wage
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This transcript is automatically generated
There is -- fallout now from a Pennsylvania mayor's decision to slash city workers paid a minimum wage.
Public worker unions now suing the mayor of Scranton PA.
For cutting their money mayor Chris Doherty says is the only way to plug -- seventeen million dollar hole in the budget.
And yesterday we talked to the mayor today the other side from Jon judge now John judges the president of the -- and firefighters union.
Jon judge good morning to you and welcome here to America's Newsroom.
Morning -- I know you're not happy with the mayor and his choices.
But what are the choices he half.
Well he really does have choices you know he's.
He's been given a budget by counsel and he expects us to come their work for 725 an hour and do our job and he needs to do his job they put certain borrowing.
And refinancing of debt in their budget and he was supposed to go execute that as the mayor and he's failed to do that.
Which is creating this cash flow problem and it's.
It's really not a deficit it's a cash flow problem I mean today I was informed that we have one point two million in the -- -- these most likely gonna make next weeks payroll so.
This is just.
He needs to get out there.
And do his job -- his.
Argument is that the city is almost seventeen million dollars in the hole.
So he'll take a pay cut sixteen point eight on the screen.
He'll take a pay -- just like everyone else 745 an hour minimum wage of almost.
He finds a bank that will -- the city sixty million dollars his hands or -- What do you think of that argument.
Yeah well that's.
That's that's nice of them to take that 725 an hour.
Pay reduction to minimum wage but he's independently wealthy.
That doesn't affect him like it affects me in my membership.
You know data -- paycheck to paycheck and we have financial obligations to meet this is gonna affect our people more than it's gonna affect him.
Us and the argument that the banks won't loan money he he needs to be out there rather than doing interviews he needs to be -- -- on the banks stores she's been able to secure funding.
And tents for the last ten years as he's been mayor and now that there's a dispute between him and counsel he's trying to backed him -- -- a corner and -- we have 400 city workers that are left in the middle.
I've heard you and other interviews and talk about a battle with his democratic -- that you believe -- when going on for the last part of -- decade.
Here is the argument he made our programs -- yesterday listen here.
Our health care bills fifteen million dollars the majority of that bill goes to retirees those are agreements that were made before I became the mayor.
And we need to you know address and understand those costs so agreements that were made before he was mayor.
Can you blame them.
-- -- -- Yeah I can I do kind of blame him firefighters.
And police officers put their lives on the line every day that was something that the city should have budgeted for for years and he was -- -- council member before he became mayor.
Those legacy he wants to talk about legacy costs which have started are gonna find it very ironic.
When he came in office -- a 3.2 million dollar surplus and now the city's being in a lot of debt that he's taken -- for pet projects downtown.
And you know rather than.
Provide the essential services that he's supposed to so legacy costs it's ironic because the city's gonna field.
The effects of his.
Tenure of mayor for years to come after he leaves.
You make it an argument to -- that their kids are working and ice cream stands in your town that are making more money than the -- -- make it.
Yes and that that may or may not -- -- -- -- in your town by Heidi getting it through this.
That will -- -- cheap my guys are resilient.
We know that.
Where do we trust in what council's doing we know that they're going to have to find something hopefully and hopefully work with the mayor.
And hopefully all this national attention in the spotlight pushes.
You know more coop cooperation from the mayor.
To get what needs to be done and to secure the financing so that we can get through the rest of this year so it's.
Our whole lot oh yeah and it sounds like -- really this is a battle with you and your members against one guy.
What why not -- argument it's really not -- other members of government there because you you you believe that if the City Council the mayor got together they can work this out quite easily.
Is that your solution.
Yeah I I do.
-- I do think they could work it out and it's council has our numerous occasions.
Went to him with different alternatives and he just doesn't want to take -- alternatives in the consideration he's proposing a 70% tax hike.
And they want to use it.
Alternative revenue sources and lower that tax increase 70% tax increase I don't.
The -- -- Scranton would be crippling and every city worker.
Is -- taxpayer and lives in the city's grand so it's gonna be crippling to -- as well also.
You know this really an and that's what it's been painted as a battle between us and the mayor -- this seven point five an -- really isn't a battle between us and the -- to battle between council and the mayor.
He's agreed date you know 725 and -- now what they're supposed to be paid he's just using the argument I don't have the money to do it.
To pay them but when I get it I'm gonna make them -- also we're just -- you know went to court to protect our interest but essentially he's.
He this is disagreement between council and the mayor and its its political we'll see how this turns out eventually John judge thank you.
Thank you thank you thank you very much thank you.