Mitchell Discusses Payments Following SJC Decision
The City of New Bedford will have to begin making payments to certain former and current municipal employees after it was announced on Tuesday that the Supreme Judicial Court had declined to hear an appeal regarding a 2009 Executive Order that called for half days on Fridays at many city offices, an action later declared an unfair labor practice by the Commonwealth Employee Relations Board.
Speaking on his weekly radio program Mayor Jon Mitchell said that although payments could be between $1 million and $2 million dollars there are many issued which need to be worked out before a total dollar amount can be determined.
"Seven years have passed and there are a number of people who have left the employ of city government, people who have retired, people who have left for other positions, and how much each is entitled to and how much interest is a matter that needs to be tabulated," said Mitchell.
Mitchell said the payments will likely be made with money that's available in the city's stabilization fund, which has roughly $7.8 million on hand.
While saying it will be expensive, Mayor Mitchell says that since the day he took office it's something he knew he may have to address and his administration took steps to prepare as best they could.
"We've done the best we can with it, and fortunately we brought on board, pretty early, Ari Sky who is, I think, the best CFO in the State of Massachusetts and, under his leadership, managing our finances as skillfully as any city, frankly in America," said Mitchell.
Former Mayor Scott Lang, who issued the executive order, told WBSM's Barry Richard he felt it was the best way to address the city's budget issues without having to lay off employees.