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(NPR)   The city of Scranton, Pennsylvania announces it cannot afford to pay its public workforce more than minimum wage, so they're cutting everyone's pay. Maybe Dunder-Mifflin is hiring   (npr.org) divider line 267
    More: Scary, Scranton, minimum wages, International Association of Educators, End of World War II in Europe  
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10723 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Jul 2012 at 2:17 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-08 11:36:45 AM
This isn't going to end well. The city is clearly breaking the law, it will get messy if the employees walk off.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-07-08 12:02:56 PM
The firefighters' union, along with the police and public works unions, have taken the city to court. Lackawanna County Judge Michael Barrasse issued an injunction, essentially agreeing with the unions that the city was breaking the law, but Doherty says he doesn't have another choice. Despite the injunction, he had the city send out paychecks based on minimum wage.

Worst case for the union members, they get back pay later. This is merely partially delayed payment.

Doherty wants to raise taxes to fill a $16.8-million gap. The city council wants to take a different approach and borrow money.

Considering the interest rates a responsible lender would have to charge, the city would be better off declaring bankruptcy.
 
2012-07-08 12:07:13 PM
Is that the sound of deflation on the horizon?
 
2012-07-08 12:34:46 PM
Holy crap.
 
2012-07-08 12:47:18 PM
Would the unions prefer that their paychecks bounce?
 
2012-07-08 12:50:33 PM

ZAZ: The firefighters' union, along with the police and public works unions, have taken the city to court. Lackawanna County Judge Michael Barrasse issued an injunction, essentially agreeing with the unions that the city was breaking the law, but Doherty says he doesn't have another choice. Despite the injunction, he had the city send out paychecks based on minimum wage.

Worst case for the union members, they get back pay later. This is merely partially delayed payment.

Doherty wants to raise taxes to fill a $16.8-million gap. The city council wants to take a different approach and borrow money.

Considering the interest rates a responsible lender would have to charge, the city would be better off declaring bankruptcy.


Or...raise the taxes.
 
2012-07-08 12:58:20 PM

ArkAngel: Would the unions prefer that their paychecks bounce?


They'd probably prefer to be paid what their contracts state their pay should be. Scranton is going to have to raise taxes to support their staff.

Legally, the city doesn't have the option of unilaterally reducing pay across the board.
 
2012-07-08 01:04:51 PM
They should lower taxes.

I hear that always works.
 
2012-07-08 01:09:45 PM
Ah, the wonderful consequences of tax cuts.
 
2012-07-08 01:23:58 PM
The policemen should hold a bake sale.
 
2012-07-08 01:29:32 PM

make me some tea: The policemen should hold a bake sale.


Handcuff keys in cakes?
 
2012-07-08 01:33:42 PM
When the sewage workers and water plant workers walk off their jobs, something will happen to fix the problem.
 
2012-07-08 02:09:39 PM

nvmac: make me some tea: The policemen should hold a bake sale.

Handcuff keys in cakes?


Make it like a Mardi Gras king cake where if the prisoner finds the key hidden in the cake, they get out of jail free.
 
2012-07-08 02:20:12 PM
So Scranton is real?
 
2012-07-08 02:21:21 PM
My office is moving to Scranton next year. I may have an interesting commute.
 
2012-07-08 02:22:15 PM

dr_blasto: ArkAngel: Would the unions prefer that their paychecks bounce?

They'd probably prefer to be paid what their contracts state their pay should be. Scranton is going to have to raise taxes to support their staff.

Legally, the city doesn't have the option of unilaterally reducing pay across the board.


Especially since a judge issued an order prohibiting the across the board pay cut.

So the mayor is now in contempt of court, on top of everything else.
 
2012-07-08 02:22:23 PM

jim32rr: So Scranton is real?


Thirty thousand pounds of bananas real.
 
2012-07-08 02:22:25 PM
This is what happens when people refuse to vote for any sort of a tax increase. Sometimes you have to just face the ugly truth that some tax increases are needed.
 
2012-07-08 02:23:58 PM

jim32rr: So Scranton is real?


At least for a couple more weeks.
 
2012-07-08 02:24:31 PM
Man, if my employer ever pulled that the boss better have a DAMN smooth talking pitch ready or else shiat is going to catch fire. Or I'd quit. Or just do nothing at work. Maybe all three.
 
2012-07-08 02:24:44 PM
We should do this for all government!
 
2012-07-08 02:25:28 PM
I think in PA, legally the city now owes them double their pay since they didn't pay them the full amount.
 
2012-07-08 02:26:47 PM

dr_blasto: ArkAngel: Would the unions prefer that their paychecks bounce?

They'd probably prefer to be paid what their contracts state their pay should be. Scranton is going to have to raise taxes to support their staff.

Legally, the city doesn't have the option of unilaterally reducing pay across the board.


Let's see them fight it in court. They can't walk from the job, so arbitration is the only route.
 
2012-07-08 02:26:48 PM
Scranton's public workers received a few days' warning this was coming. John Judge, a firefighter and president of the International Association of Firefighters, Local 60, typically receives about $1,500 every two weeks, after deductions. On Friday his check was less than $600 - before deductions.

"Hey, about Friday's paycheck. It's gonna be less than 40% of what we agreed to pay you for the work you've performed." That's the point where I walk off the job and file a suit in small claims court for back-pay.
 
2012-07-08 02:28:00 PM
Race to the bottom. That's the landscape of working life in America now.
 
2012-07-08 02:29:08 PM
Maybe the city workers could be paid in gum.
 
2012-07-08 02:30:30 PM

GAT_00: Ah, the wonderful consequences of tax cuts.


You have a list of the tax cuts responsible for short-changing the city's budget? I'd like to look them over.

You do have that, don't you? You weren't derpityderp trolling, were you?
 
2012-07-08 02:31:09 PM
Good. These govt employees are overpaid in the first place.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-07-08 02:31:22 PM
That's the point where I walk off the job and file a suit in small claims court for back-pay.

There is already a lawsuit.

So the mayor is now in contempt of court, on top of everything else.

Not yet. The judge will have to decide whether compliance with the court order was possible.
 
2012-07-08 02:31:23 PM

Darth_Lukecash: Or...raise the taxes.


That's not always a bad idea but with the way things are now budgets keep going up, businesses keep increasing their prices, taxes keep increasing, etc. to make up the shortfall. Meanwhile people are trying to cut back, trying to stay alive. Which causes businesses to increase prices and taxes to go up. Which cause people to cut back... rinse, repeat.

Implosion on the horizon.
 
2012-07-08 02:32:14 PM

dr_blasto: ArkAngel: Would the unions prefer that their paychecks bounce?

They'd probably prefer to be paid what their contracts state their pay should be. Scranton is going to have to raise taxes to support their staff.

Legally, the city doesn't have the option of unilaterally reducing pay across the board.


Contracts can be negotiated and broken, as we have seen in California, cities are declaring bankruptcy.
 
2012-07-08 02:32:33 PM
This is obviously all the union's fault, though I'm have no idea how. I'm sure some Republican will give me a reason soon enough though.
 
2012-07-08 02:32:53 PM

Don't Troll Me Bro!: Scranton's public workers received a few days' warning this was coming. John Judge, a firefighter and president of the International Association of Firefighters, Local 60, typically receives about $1,500 every two weeks, after deductions. On Friday his check was less than $600 - before deductions.

"Hey, about Friday's paycheck. It's gonna be less than 40% of what we agreed to pay you for the work you've performed." That's the point where I walk off the job and file a suit in small claims court for back-pay.


"Yeah, about my work schedule...notice I'll be here less than 40% of the time I agreed to be here to perform work for you."
 
2012-07-08 02:33:08 PM
yeah...
 
2012-07-08 02:33:22 PM

dr_blasto: This isn't going to end well. The city is clearly breaking the law, it will get messy if the employees walk off.


Scrotum, Pennsylvania, more like.
 
2012-07-08 02:33:29 PM
I see, so they're finally being paid what they're worth. That's a unions member's worst nightmare!
 
2012-07-08 02:34:48 PM
Why not just lay off half the workers?
 
2012-07-08 02:34:57 PM
thetimes-tribune.com
 
2012-07-08 02:35:28 PM

ZAZ: The firefighters' union, along with the police and public works unions, have taken the city to court. Lackawanna County Judge Michael Barrasse issued an injunction, essentially agreeing with the unions that the city was breaking the law, but Doherty says he doesn't have another choice. Despite the injunction, he had the city send out paychecks based on minimum wage.

Worst case for the union members, they get back pay later. This is merely partially delayed payment.


No, worst case is they wind up getting evicted because their landlords didn't change the rent to something that you can handle on minimum wage whilst paying bills and buying food. Followed by them losing their jobs when they realize that a tax hike won't help in the immediate term and they start slashing positions.

This could get very ugly.
 
2012-07-08 02:35:42 PM

Don't Troll Me Bro!: Scranton's public workers received a few days' warning this was coming. John Judge, a firefighter and president of the International Association of Firefighters, Local 60, typically receives about $1,500 every two weeks, after deductions. On Friday his check was less than $600 - before deductions.

"Hey, about Friday's paycheck. It's gonna be less than 40% of what we agreed to pay you for the work you've performed." That's the point where I walk off the job and file a suit in small claims court for back-pay.


And the city is supposed to pay them with money they don't have? If the city borrows the money the city will have even less money next payday. Or they need to cut various costs, which I'll bet people will be against.
 
2012-07-08 02:36:43 PM

chuckufarlie: This is what happens when people refuse to vote for any sort of a tax increase. Sometimes you have to just face the ugly truth that some tax increases are needed.


Who needs taxes? Taxes are just a scam to line the pockets of fat cat politicians and lazy manual laborers. Sewage is also a scam. All we really need is a hole in the ground. Water is also a scam. FACT: You don't need to drink water to live. Food is also a scam. You can live off sunlight if you believe hard enough.
 
2012-07-08 02:36:47 PM

"Worst case for the union members, they get back pay later. This is merely partially delayed payment."


Worst case? This is the worst case now. Bills are due and you can't tell your creditors they should give you a break on payment because you were just reduced for working for minimum wage.


What a shiatty situation. The city knew this was coming, tried to raise taxes but couldn't, so they had to cut pay. Blame it all on Chris Christie!

 
2012-07-08 02:36:58 PM
I think folks will rethink their positions on taxes and civil servants once the trash starts piling up, the water shuts off, and no one answers 911.

Who am I kidding? They'll never raise taxes. They'll borrow it from somewhere, making a few men very rich and screwing the city over for decades to come.
 
2012-07-08 02:37:19 PM
C - The answer is always C.

farm4.static.flickr.com
 
2012-07-08 02:37:58 PM
I have an alternative solution, make city functions for profit.

People could buy shields to put on their houses to make sure fire fighting services would support them. No fire insurance, your fire does not get put out. You could pay for higher levels of service.

Police departments could also be made private like the Pinkertons. Have a problem with a neighbor, your private law enforcement agency will straighten it out. Also the fines could go to the stockholders.

And if you can afford to hire better services, then your situation will be handled with more efficiency.
 
2012-07-08 02:38:16 PM
Or they should hold a fundraiser, and let the winner live in the Mayor's Mansion for a year
 
2012-07-08 02:38:18 PM

enik: I see, so they're finally being paid what they're worth. That's a unions member's worst nightmare!


I'd like to hear your opinion of how much they're worth when your home is currently being burglarized or on fire.

Let me guess... "I have my own gun, herpty derp, herpty derp."
 
2012-07-08 02:38:28 PM
From the comments on TFA: "All children should be allowed to attend private schools, and if they can't afford it, the taxpayer should pick up the cost of tuition."

And then cut salaries to half the minimum wage?
 
2012-07-08 02:38:42 PM

phamwaa: jim32rr: So Scranton is real?

Thirty thousand pounds of bananas real.


That was better than any answer I had.
 
2012-07-08 02:39:48 PM

vodka: Darth_Lukecash: Or...raise the taxes.

That's not always a bad idea but with the way things are now budgets keep going up, businesses keep increasing their prices, taxes keep increasing, etc. to make up the shortfall. Meanwhile people are trying to cut back, trying to stay alive. Which causes businesses to increase prices and taxes to go up. Which cause people to cut back... rinse, repeat.

Implosion on the horizon.

Mayor Chris Doherty for months has been saying to the media that, had the council "supermajority" adopted his 2012 budget proposal with a 29 percent tax hike, the city would not be in the financial mess it is.

...Mr. Doherty has proposed a recovery plan with 78 percent tax increases over the next three years. However, the council majority has refused to consider the mayor's plan or any tax hikes greater than 10 percent each year,


http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/as-scranton-hits-rock-bottom-blame- ga me-ensues-1.1340563
 
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