Municipal union leader ousted

Cathy Scott lost her post as president of AFSCME District Council 47.
Cathy Scott lost her post as president of AFSCME District Council 47.
Posted: September 29, 2013

PHILADELPHIA Cathy Scott has been ousted as president of AFSCME District Council 47, becoming the second leader of one of the city's municipal unions voted out of office in recent months.

On Thursday night, the delegates of DC 47, which represents the city's white-collar workers, chose instead Frederick Wright, who was president of Local 1739.

Local 1739, the third-largest local in DC 47, with about 1,300 members, represents social service employees of nonprofit agencies, not city workers.

The municipal employees of District Councils 47 and 33, which represents the city's blue-collar workers, have been working without new contracts since 2009.

Wright said Friday night he had been approached to run for president by members seeking better communication through the ranks. He said frustration over the contract talks with the Nutter administration also played a part in his candidacy.

"Not only have they been without a contract, but the members don't feel like their message was getting out to the public," he said.

Wright said he planned to call Mayor Nutter in the coming weeks.

Mark McDonald, a spokesman for Nutter, said the administration "looked forward to sitting down with representatives of DC 47."

"We'd like to resolve the contract issues," he said.

Union anger with Nutter has been boiling over, but some of the blame also may be falling on union leadership.

In May, members of Local 22, the firefighters' and paramedics' union, ousted then-president Bill Gault, a firebrand critic of the Nutter administration.

Local 22 has been locked in a number of battles with the administration, including a three-year dispute over the firefighters' contract.

The firefighters installed a new president, Joseph Schulle, who campaigned on healing relations with the administration. This month, the mayor agreed to settle the firefighters' contract.

The DC 47 election was not a vote of the full membership, but a poll of appointed delegates from the nine locals. Several other locals represent nonmunicipal employees.


tgraham@phillynews.com

215-854-2730

@troyjgraham

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