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Forum Post: Scranton, Pa., Slashes Workers' Pay to Minimum Wage

Posted 12 years ago on July 10, 2012, 11:53 a.m. EST by LeoYo (5909)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Scranton, Pa., slashes workers' pay to minimum wage


By Patrick Rizzo

Unions representing civil servants in the city of Scranton, Pa., are girding for battle after the mayor announced recently that he would be cutting pay for police, firefighters, garbage collectors and other public workers to minimum wage.

The unions' attorney, Thomas Jennings, told the Scranton Times-Tribune Tuesday that they would be filing a lawsuit against Mayor Chris Doherty in federal court under the Fair Labor Standards Act accusing the city of failing to pay wages on time and failing to pay overtime.

The lawsuit will be among several legal actions the unions may take after Doherty made the announcement last Friday that the city's 398 workers would be paid $7.25 an hour because the city was running out of money.

The Times-Tribune, quoting City Business Manager Ryan McGowan, reported that as of Monday the city had $133,000 in cash, but owed $3.4 million in vendor bills. One of those bills was health insurance, McGowan said.

Jennings said the unions also will again ask a local judge to hold Doherty in contempt of court for violating a judge's order to pay workers their full wages.

Scranton is among a number of U.S. cities struggling to pay their bills amid rising labor costs. Earlier this month, Stockton, Calif., became the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy protection from creditors.

Scranton's mayor and the city council have been locked in a dispute over how to raise money in a city that has steadily lost population over the past 50 years and has been hit hard by the real estate slump and the Great Recession that followed. Doherty has argued that the city needs to increase taxes, but council members want to find other ways to raise money. Doherty is a Democrat. The city council is comprised of Democrats.



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[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 12 years ago

See - that is the thing - the government may slash their workers pay and benefits - but they do not do the same for themselves.

How can they - exclude themselves and be considered fair?

Let them feel the pain of the people by being part of the people.

Perhaps then they may consider better alternatives.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 12 years ago

Generally these same people who refuse to raise taxes are actively promoting their friends in the creation of high paying sinecures - it's corruption at its finest.

[-] 2 points by letsdomore (89) 12 years ago

Did the mayor and city council slash their pay to minimum wage too?
That's Biden's hell hole.


[-] -1 points by SteveKJR (-497) 12 years ago

What I don't understand is how can a city be 3.4 million in debt to begin with.

If I operated that way with my household finances I would own nothing - the bank would take away my house, the finance company would take away my Porsche, the Marina would put a lein on my boat because I didn't make the payments and eventually would impound it and sell it.

So how can a city get this deep in debt. Is that stupid or what? What are these people thinking when they let this happens? Do they run their household the same way?


[-] 0 points by SteveKJR (-497) 12 years ago

I am not talking about "hypothetical situations" and I am not talking about historical situations - I am talking about "present day situations" with regard to what's going on with Scranton - how hard is that to understand?

Answer the question - how can a city get so deep in debt?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 12 years ago


[-] 0 points by SteveKJR (-497) 12 years ago

Thank you. Finally someone with a logical answer that puts the blame directy on the source instead of blaming someone else.