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Scranton Mayor Slashes Cop Pay to $7.25 Per Hour

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By Andrew Lu on July 12, 2012 6:58 AM

All Scranton city workers -- including cops and firefighters -- will be paid minimum wage effective immediately.

The small Pennsylvania town is facing bankruptcy. Unsure how to meet the next payroll, Scranton mayor Chris Doherty took the initiative and slashed wages despite a court order not to.

All 398 city employees are now paid $7.25 per hour. Unions representing the workers have filed a lawsuit against the mayor and the city, reports Yahoo! So how did the city get into this mess?

The unions blame the Scranton mayor and political in-fighting. The mayor blames the City Council and the failure to adopt his budget. Mayor Chris Doherty had wanted to raise taxes given the city's financial woes. However, the mayor says that the City Council blocked his attempts, creating the mess, reports Yahoo!

Scranton reportedly only has $133,000 in cash. The city has $3.4 million in vendor bills and a $16.8 million budget deficit.

In their lawsuit, the unions say that the mayor's actions violated pretty much every employment law. They say that the city failed to pay proper wages and overtime, benefits were cut for disabled police officers and firefighters without a hearing, and that the mayor violated a court order to pay employees their full wages, reports Yahoo!

But if the city is truly facing bankruptcy, it's unclear how the city workers will benefit. Even if they win their lawsuit, the city has no money to pay the judgment or penalty. Additionally, if the Scranton mayor restores their wages, the city would have no money to pay even minimum wage by the next payroll.

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