Pa. city cuts worker pay after discovering only $5,000 in the bank

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by WHAS11

wwltv.com

Posted on July 6, 2012 at 2:56 PM

(WHAS11) -- City workers in Scranton, Pennsylvania are about to get slashed to minimum wage because the city only has $5,000 in the bank.

A judge says that's not legal, but the mayor says the city has no choice.

"We understand what the judge wants to do, and we appreciate his perspective, but the reality is because city council has underfunded their budget we don't have any money, we have enough money to pay minimum wage and if more money comes in we'll be happy to make those payments," said Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty (D).

Last month, the mayor of Scranton announced he was cutting city workers pay to minimum wage, because the city is running out of money.

A judge's order said the mayor has the obligation to pay the contracted salaries.  Mayor Chris Doherty agreed, but said it's just not going to happen. 

That means tiny paychecks for hundreds of Scranton city employees.

"Most of the members I talked to because they live paycheck to paycheck, I might have enough savings that I can forego the vacation right now, and make sure the bills get paid, but after a couple weeks I'm going to be in a real financial hardship here," said John judge, head of the fire union.

The mayor says in order for the city to be able to pay workers regular pay, the city council needs to come up with a recovery plan to cover a $16 million hole.

He says they wrote it into their budget, so it's up to them to fix it.

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