PA Mayor Reaches Settlement With Unions To Pay Back Public Workers’ Wages

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"PA Mayor Reaches Settlement With Unions To Pay Back Public Workers’ Wages"

Scranton, PA Mayor Chris Doherty

After Scranton, PA Mayor Chris Doherty (D) reduced the pay of hundreds of his city’s public workers — including firefighters, police officers, and other safety workers — to minimum wage earlier this month, three unions challenged the cuts in federal court. In a deal reached today, the mayor has agreed to pay back the wages that the city owes to its public workers. In addition to restoring employees’ wages, Doherty will also award them with interest for the backlogged salaries, Reuters reports:

Mayor Christopher Doherty agreed that the city would pay approximately $750,000 in compensation owed to firefighters, police officers and public works employees, plus at least $5,100 in interest, said Tom Jennings, a lawyer for the employees’ unions.

In exchange, the unions said they would drop their bid to have the mayor held in contempt of court, according to the agreement, reached Saturday and presented to a judge on Monday.

Despite the fact that a federal judge issued an injunction preventing the city from decreasing workers’ pay to minimum wage, Doherty slashed the wages of hundreds of public employees earlier this month, claiming that Scranton could not afford to pay their full salaries.

John Judge, the president of Scranton’s firefighters’ union, said he remains “cautious” about the settlement’s good news for public workers, expressing hope that the city won’t hold workers’ living wages hostage in the future.

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