City Finance Official Discusses Impact Of SJC Decision
A recent decision by the State Supreme Judicial Court to not hear an appeal regarding office closures requires the City of New Bedford to begin payments to certain municipal employees.
In 2009 an Executive Order was issued that required some city offices to close for half days on Friday.
As a result some employees saw a decrease in their take home pay and the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees Council 93 filed a complaint with the Commonwealth Employee Relations Board.
In Nov. 2011 the board labeled it an unfair labor practice.
The city's Chief Financial Officer, Ari Sky tells WBSM News there are still issues that need to be discussed with the union before payments begin.
"There's still some issues to discuss through with the union," said Sky "current employees versus prior employees, what's the threshold for that, it was seven years ago, there's just a lot of questions to be discussed."
While they are trying to determine which employees will receive these payments, Sky says the total dollar amount for those payments is something that is also uncertain at this time.
However, he says they are looking at potential sources to fund the payments.
"It will be a sizable number, which is unfortunate for the city and for the taxpayers," says Sky "but the city does maintain a stabilization fund which could be a potential source for this if it's necessary to fund it."
While calling it a liability for the city, Sky says it was a possibility that city officials anticipated.
"It's a potential liability that we've carried on our bond statements for years and there's some benefit to just clearing that off entirely too, so to a certain degree I'm glad the issue has been in one way or the other," said Sky.
Sky says city officials will be meeting with union representatives this coming week.