Monday, February 5, 2007


Bill Peduto, when asked by KDKA's Marty Griffin whether he can take on the firefighter's union and still become mayor:

"If you don't take on the contract, and win the race, what the hell did you win?"

We're awful late to this game, so we'll kick you right over to the Burgh Report to play catch up. But there's a lotta, lotta, lotta ballgame left on this front.

Union president Joe King was able to respond that they can't reduce overtime because firefighting staff is limited under Act 47, thank you very much Councilman Peduto. But it sounds like the councilman wants to negotiate the new contract from scratch. Although he insists pensions are off the table, he's definitely talking minimum staffing requirements, if not pay scales. Of course, King countered with the safety card.

Peduto is banking on resentment from Tom Murphy's late-in-the-race concessions to the firefighter's union, and the resulting financial hardship. He describes "a city that can't afford to pay its bills."

When Peduto describes himself as "being responsible rather than critical," we are reminded of Mayor Ravenstahl's frequent insistence that he "believes in Pittsburgh's future."

The Ravenstahl camp has been the one touting present and planned development, so we are left to infer economic growth will take care of any lingering financial woes.

The Grand Analogy just keeps broadening in scope.


  1. There's nothing in the Act 47 plan that limits fire bureau staff - it's the fire contract that says a certain number of firemen must be on a rig at any given time. In other words, you can re-open the contract to discuss limiting the number of middle-management (battalion chiefs) or modifying the firefighter platoon system or number of shifts...I give Peduto the benefit of the doubt that he's trying to be creative, and at least he's trying. I don't give Luke the benefit of the doubt because of his pattern of caving to union pressure at every turn. I'm suspicious of his habit of throwing his hands in the air and giving away the store at every turn - except when someone points out his little arrest or picks on his friend Denny, then he gets quite feisty.

  2. Yeah, my understanding is that the union contract establishes minimums, and Act 47 sets the city maximum. Bill seemed to be sketchy on the details as he was stuck in traffic, whereas Joe seemed to have a good grip but made it sound horrendously complex.