June 15, 2016 |
While Mayor Kenney pitched his sugary drink tax as needed to fund early childhood education, it turns out that nearly 20 percent of the money raised would go to other city programs and employee benefits. The additional spending - never mentioned while Kenney was selling the tax to the public - was added on during talks with Council on the proposed tax, according to the administration. "These changes are the result of weeks of negotiations between City Council and the administration," said Mike Dunn, spokesman for the administration.
February 24, 2016
ISSUE | PENSIONS Look at the long term The Inquirer drew a woefully incomplete picture when it claimed, "Falling stocks squeezing pension funds" (Feb. 15). Looking at investment returns in one-year increments is shortsighted at best. Public pension funds such as the state employees' and teachers' funds operate in perpetuity and invest with a continuous, 30-year horizon. This strategy helps to smooth the inevitable effects of market bubbles and global economic unrest. Budgetary increases for pensions are diminishing because of the powerful impact of Act 120, which placed the state on a predictable payment schedule.
January 22, 2016 |
An effort to give the Delaware River Port Authority's chief executive a five-figure raise hit a speed bump Wednesday because of a procedural mix-up. Still, the proposal sparked anger that the authority's board tried to give CEO John Hanson a $39,474 pay increase while 66 percent of the authority's personnel have gone without a raise for four years. "I'm here to make sure it's a front-burner issue and it stays a front-burner issue with you," said Bill Hosey of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 351, which represents about 20 information-services workers.
May 30, 2015 |
In the face of steep funding cuts, the city school system is now spending less to educate each student than it had since 2008, and benefits are costing nearly $8,000 more per teacher than they did three years ago. Mix lower revenues with rising fixed costs and the result is fewer dollars spent in Philadelphia School District classrooms, an outside analysis of district finances released Thursday found. Chief financial officer Matthew Stanski said the analysis underscored the points officials were trying to make this week to a skeptical, frustrated City Council: They keep coming back for more money year after year because the money they receive isn't enough to cover their fixed costs.
January 19, 2015 |
John M. Phelps Jr., 61, of Lebanon, Hunterdon County, a former employee benefits specialist for firms in Philadelphia and New Jersey, died of a heart attack Sunday, Jan. 11, at home. In 2014, daughter Laura Howells said, Mr. Phelps became CEO of Grow Solutions Inc., which its website describes as providing "services, products, financing, technology and management consulting to the expanding legal cannabis industry. " The firm deals with medical marijuana, a continuation of Mr. Phelps' work "in health benefits," Howells said.
May 24, 2013 |
SEPTA doesn't have enough engineers to run all of its trains all of the time. On Saturday, eight Regional Rail trains were canceled because of crew shortages, and engineers say the problem is chronic and may get worse. In 2011, federal work rules were toughened, reducing the number of hours passenger-train crews can work in a week or month and exacerbating SEPTA's long-standing staffing woes. Because of a shortage of qualified workers, the complex nature of rush-hour scheduling, and SEPTA's desire to limit costs for employee benefits, all engineers and conductors work overtime every week and are paid accordingly.
March 15, 2013
CITY Council chambers can seat 350, so we're assuming that's the number of union members who filled the chambers with shouting and whistling loud enough to have Council President Darrell Clarke recess the session about 10 minutes into Mayor Nutter's budget address. The mayor had begun yelling his speech over the din, but finally finished delivering it in the mayor's reception room. So, here's the math: It took only 350 people to put a halt to city government Thursday. As union leaders declare victory in shutting down a budget address, we can't help wondering: Victory over what, really?
November 8, 2012
Question 1 Do you approve an amendment to the New Jersey Constitution, as agreed to by the Legislature, to allow contributions set by law to be taken from the salaries of Supreme Court Justices and Superior Court Judges for their employee benefits? (93% of the vote) Yes . . . 1,274,618 No . . . 774,121 Question 2 Do you approve the "Building Our Future Bond Act"? This bond act authorizes the State to issue bonds in the aggregate principal amount of $750 million to provide matching grants to New Jersey's colleges and universities.
November 8, 2012 |
The Greyhound Lines Inc. employee on her way home from work Monday said she's the kind of worker who prides herself on always being on the job. So she's not happy that Greyhound is docking her for Oct. 29 and 30 - the two days that the entire region was shut down due to Hurricane Sandy. "I'm totally upset," she said. "I think it's horrible. They were closed anyway. " Because the employee would like to keep her job, she doesn't want her name published, but she acknowledged that companies are in a tough spot, too. After all, they couldn't make any money when they were closed.
October 19, 2012
New Jersey voters have two ballot questions to consider, one would give a boost to higher education, and the other would require judges to pay more for employee benefits. Voters should say YES to a $750 million bond issue for the state's public and private universities. The state hasn't approved a bond issue for higher education in nearly a quarter-century. Meanwhile, state funding for colleges has been slashed. The bond money would be used to expand classroom and lab space. Community colleges as well as state universities and private colleges would benefit.