July 22, 2016 |
When the Kenney administration announced its new contract with the city's blue-collar union on Friday, it suggested that changes to the union's retirement plan would benefit the city's underfunded pension fund. "Making the pension fund sustainable has been a key goal of my administration from the beginning," Mayor Kenney said in the announcement of the $175 million four-year contract. But when questioned this week, administration officials could not say by how much the pension deficit would be reduced given the changes.
July 20, 2016
THE LONG and bitter battle between management and blue-collar employees in Philadelphia government is apparently over. A truce was declared by Mayor Kenney and the city's largest union last week when the sides reached a tentative agreement on a new, four-year contract. It covers the nearly 8,000 members of the city's blue-collar union, AFSCME District Council 33 and provides pay increases totaling $109 million between now and 2020. The news came late Friday, absent the protracted public fights, rallies, and inflammatory rhetoric that characterized union contract negotiations during Mayor Nutter's term in office - when many unions went for years without a contract.
July 20, 2016 |
Michael Donatucci was known as a man for others, a value, instilled in him through his Jesuit education, that shone through to everyone he met. "Anybody that ever met him always said he was such a gentleman," said his father, Ronald, Philadelphia's longtime register of wills. "I was blessed to know him for 31 years. " Mr. Donatucci, chief investment officer of the city's Pension Fund, took his own life Friday night, July 15. He would have turned 31 on Tuesday. He was found dead in his home by his fiancee, Meghan Klein, whom he met about 10 years ago in Margate, N.J., where the Donatucci family has a summer home.
July 17, 2016 |
The city's largest municipal workers union, AFSCME District Council 33, signed a four-year labor agreement Friday that raises members' wages a total of 11.5 percent over its lifetime. The agreement, worth $170 million, was signed about 5 p.m. 15 days after the expiration of the old contract, which took the Nutter administration years to finalize. Mayor Kenney's spokeswoman, Lauren Hitt, said the mayor was unavailable for comment. In a statement, Kenney called the new contract "an agreement that is fair to employees but also fair to the taxpayers of this great city.
June 29, 2016 |
TRENTON - New Jersey lawmakers voted overwhelmingly Monday to prohibit the state Treasury Department from investing public employee pension funds in companies that boycott Israel. The legislation, which is intended to defend Israel and Israeli companies from the "boycott, divestment, and sanctions" movement launched by Palestinians and their allies in 2005, now heads to Gov. Christie's desk. It passed the Assembly, 69-3, with two abstentions, and the Senate on a 37-0 vote Monday.
June 1, 2016
A May 24 story about Philadelphia municipal pensions provided an incorrect figure for the total DROP payments for fiscal 2015. The city's pension fund expended $141.2 million in DROP payments that year.
May 27, 2016
ISSUE | PHILA. PENSIONS Windfalls and scraps Two stories in Monday's paper were perfect examples of the inequity between the haves and have-nots. Former Philadelphia employees such as Mayor Michael Nutter and Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson pull down more than $100,000 a year in pension money ("Long gone, but still drawing big bucks"). Not bad for people who have vacated their offices but can thank the taxpayers who foot the bill. On the other end of the spectrum are elderly residents who are struggling to get by on an average of $16,429 a year in Social Security ("Retirement a tough job in Philadelphia")
May 24, 2016 |
John F. Street, Lynne Abraham, and Sylvester Johnson are long gone from city government, but certainly not forgotten. In fact, taxpayers continue to send each more than $100,0000 a year for their former service as mayor, district attorney, and police commissioner, respectively. The trio of retirees are among 33 former city employees, including elected officials, who are paid more than $100,000 a year, despite no longer coming to work. Johnson tops the list with an annual pension of $152,439.
May 18, 2016
ISSUE | PHILA. BUDGET Big spenders During last year's election, many people wondered, "Which Jim Kenney are we going to get?" It's five months into his administration, and now we know: the fiscally irresponsible one. We got the Jim Kenney who, as a city councilman, had no problem allowing the pension fund to pay bonuses when it was underfunded by hundreds of millions of dollars. They say you can judge a person by the company he or she keeps. Two decades on Council says a lot. We also hear that Council President Darrell L. Clarke has plans for raising the real estate transfer tax and adding $100 million in debt ("Clarke: Hike tax, rehab housing," Friday)