Following the termination of a collective bargaining contract on June 30, 2009, between the city of Philadelphia and IAFF a review of the collective bargain ensued prompting several hearings by arbitrators that led to the issuance of the 2010 award. The following study emphasizes the importance of stakeholder involvement when drastic measures are being adopted in an organizational setting.
The 2010 award was a mockery of the city’s financial condition and the stipulated laws. Any noble citizen of the Philadelphia city would disagree with the panel’s decision to award such a hypocritical bargain as I do. The city’s financial constraints should have been given priority as stated in the law. The panel relied on uncertain changing financial condition of the city and the country to reach its decision. Further, the city had been through a tedious period of financial constraints characterized by tax evasion and bail defaults amounting to large amounts (Arbitration Opinion and Award, 2012). Besides, the process of redesigning the city’s economy drive from an industrial city to a diversified model should have been considered. This change had been taxing the city’s economy affecting the distribution of funds. Again, the city’s declining fund reserves should have influenced the direction of the ruling, which was not the case (Bennett, 2008).
The city has also made considerable makeups to adjust to the financial constraints including laying off workers, increasing taxes, reducing wages, not hiring police and other numerous adjustments to stay afloat. These factors required stakeholder consideration. The law requires that before concluding, the financial condition of the city should be required whether it can or cannot foot the budget (Arbitration Opinion and Award, 2012).
The panel was deceived, without looking deeply, by the growing GDP of 2008, which was on the decline. Moreover, the panel should have taken into account that the city has relied on unreliable structural models to project economic situations in the future, which have led to an under-prediction of both revenue and annual growth rate (Arbitration Opinion and Award, 2012). Such unreliable models and data should not have formed the basis of any just consideration.
PA Act 111 has several limitations. Foremost, evidence is hidden from the public before any binding arbitration hearings are heard thereby limiting the chances of equitable justice (Problem with PA act 111, 2016). Moreover, it does not separate pensions from the processes of arbitration, which renders the employee vulnerable. Finally, the municipal employee seems to be charged with a heavy budget in paying charges for the arbitration. The charges should be shared among the parties (Bennett, 2008). Allowing one party to pay the fees may put such a party at a disposition to influence decisions. The 2010 award should not have been awarded as it is a disgrace to the law and the financial status of the city then.
Arbitration Opinion and Award. (2012). Retrieved Apr. 22, 2018 from http://media.philly.com/documents/Local+22+Remand+Award+w+Dissent+and+Concurrence+(July+2).pdf
Bennett, L. T. (2008). Fire service law. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
What is the Problem with PA Act 111? (2016). Retrieved Apr. 22, 2018 from http://fixthenumbers.com/municipal-pension-reform/problem-with-pa-act-111/