Philadelphia's largest public union agrees to wage increases, new pension plan - Health Professionals & Allied Employees

Philadelphia’s largest public union agrees to wage increases, new pension plan

From Philly Voice

The City of Philadelphia and its largest public union have agreed to terms on a new four-year contract on Friday night.

AFSCME District Council 33, which represents more than 7,000 municipal workers, has advised its members to ratify the deal. The previous contract expired on June 30.

City workers will receive 3-percent pay increases in 2016, 2017 and 2019. A 2.5-percent increase is scheduled in 2018.

Union president Pete Matthews noted that the wage bump is much higher than what most state and city employees have secured.

“With the average wage increases for state and local workers around the country averaging less than 1%, we were able to secure a wage package compounded at 12% over four years,” said Matthews in a statement.

The contract also introduces a new tiered pension plan, which will require higher-paid workers to contribute more toward the fund.

All employees making more than $45,000 a year will pay between 0.5 percent and 3 percent more toward their pensions.

Mayor Jim Kenney described the deal as fair to both employees and taxpayers, claiming the agreement will help the pension fund be more sustainable.

“Making the pension fund sustainable has been a key goal of my administration from the beginning,” Kenney said. “Today’s agreement marks a key step in that process. Under this agreement, employees who earn more will pay more for their pensions. We believe that this approach will provided needed assistance to our pension fund and also be fair to city employees at every level.”

The city will also contribute $20 million to the union health fund, half upon ratification of the contract and the rest on July 1, 2017.

Once ratified, the contract will run through June 30, 2020.