SCRANTON — Scranton City Council met Thursday night for the first time since the mayor announced that all city employees would be paid minimum wage.
The heads of the city`s four unions, police, fire, public works and clerical, all went before Scranton City Council with an impassioned cry for a resolution.
Council`s meeting came one day after Mayor Chris Doherty said all city employees would be paid minimum wage.
The mayor said this is an effort to save money since a $16 million loan promised in council`s budget has not come through.
“Most people live check to check so to be told eight days before you`re getting paid your salary`s going to be reduce tremendously, it`s stressful,” said John Judge, the president of the Fire Fighters’ Union.
This move comes as the mayor is taking city council to court over the city`s recovery plan.
The mayor wants to raise taxes by 78% over the next four years, something council opposes.
At council`s meeting, council president Janet Evans accused the mayor of playing dirty politics.
“Actions speak louder than words. Actions were taken by the mayor this week to take city council to court, to cut salaries of employees,’’ said Evans. “Now the mayor needs to take some actions and put council`s recommendations into his recovery plan.”
The unions warn this latest move by the mayor could end up costing the city more in legal fees.
They also said cutting salaries is in violation of their contracts.
“We`re going to take him to court,” said Robert Martin, president of the Fraternal Order of Police. “We`re obviously not going to lay down and take this. We’re going to fight any way we can, legally and we`ll work through this but it is what it is.”