Penn. mayor drops city workers' salaries to minimum wage

Published: Tuesday, July 10 2012 1:23 p.m. MDT

Marcie Black, here serving lunch at the Golden Dragon restaurant in Post Falls, Idaho, receives minimum wage for her job. Municipal workers in Scranton, Penn., had their city salaries reduced to minimum wage.

Kathy Plonka, Associated Press/The Spokesman-Review

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Sam Vitris, a truck driver for the Pennsylvania city of Scranton's Department of Public Works received a 62 percent pay cut. But he wasn't alone. Mayor Chris Doherty cut wages for about 400 municipal employees, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The city was devising ways to bring revenue to the 2012 budget after finding a $16.8 million gap. Doherty originally moved to make a revision to a 78 percent property tax for three years, but city council members rejected that along with a garbage-collection fee. As a result, Doherty decided to cut his own pay along with city employees to $7.25 per hour, according to the article.

"In the absence of any other solution, this seemed to be the best alternative," Robert McGoff Jr., a city council member, told the newspaper. McGoff supports the mayor, but three unions are issuing injunctions.

The three unions, which represent most of the city's workers, have filed a lawsuit that says the salary cut violates existing contracts. Vitris worries the effect the pay cut will have on credit scores and home ownership, according to the article.

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