PWSA Employees Asked To Prove City Residency

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A letter was sent out last week to more than 200 Pittsburgh Water and Sewer employees.

All of them were asked to prove they live in the city, told to provide mortgage payment booklets, gas, electric and phone bills.

“If after investigation, the authority finds that an employee is or has been in violation of the domicile requirement, employment with the authority will be terminated.”

“I’m not a big fan of the residency requirement policies,” City Councilman Patrick Dowd, also a member of the PWSA Board, said.

Dowd says he would change the policy if he could and may ask the board to do so.

“The authority shouldn’t be in the business of firing folks,” he said. “We have a lot of work to do at the authority and we need to make sure that work gets done.”

Sources close to the investigation tell KDKA Investigator Marty Griffin the PWSA may have a difficult time enforcing this policy.

The former executive director of the organization actually lived in Westmoreland County and kept an apartment in the city of Pittsburgh during the week.

“It’s reasonable for us to think about lifting some of these requirements,” Dowd said.

Union leaders agree and fired off a terse letter to the PWSA saying: “[We are] instructing our members not to divulge to PWSA this request for information,” threatening legal action if necessary.

PWSA called the request a records keeping issue and would not comment on reports as many as 30 employees could face termination for living outside the city.

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Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority

More from Marty Griffin
  • dosomething

    What about all the police and firefighters that live outside the city?????????

  • Justin

    If you were able to live outside the city maybe more qualified people who want to work there

  • Dan

    You force the police and firefighters to live in the city so why not PWSA workers? If you grant them a waiver then do the same for the police and firefighters. In response to dosomething above I find it hard to believe that police and firefighters live outside the city. If they do they should be fired.

    • Ron

      Believe it, they do live outside the city, they use a relatives address or by cheap rentals for city residency ! The best are the teachers and police. The teachers want the pay from the district but don’t want to send there own kids to the same schools they teach in? How confident are they in the jobs they are paid well at by doing this? Police don’t want to live in the communities they are supposed to protect and serve?

    • dosomething

      OMI has a list of people that live outside the city, but they refuse to act. I can list addresses if you would like!

  • Christine

    I formerly worked for the city, but once my kids came along, I sought another job after 16 years of employment because I didn’t want my kids going to city schools, and to work for the city, you have to live there. Though I loved my job, I had to do what was best for them. I’m glad I did. They are receiving a great education in a suburban community.

  • Jim

    I believe the law is dumb. But if it is indeed the law, who does the union think they are telling the employees that they do not have to prove that they meet the legal requirement to work for the city? Dumb law or not, the union is once again out of control

  • Jonas

    I believe the only reason the law exists is because if it didn’t, the city would not have any tax base since many of the employees would move out of the city. I think the law exists to protect the tax base. If the police, fire, public works, refuse workers, etc., decided to move out, that would take a huge chunk out of the revenue and hurt the city.

    • Ron

      They should get a tax base for paying these employees so handsomely!!!!!

    • City resident

      If the city is straining for tax base, then why is it that UPMC and so many other alleged “non-profits” are granted tax free status by the City of Pittsburgh?
      The residency law is archaic and should not be forced upon any American. Democrats insist on the law remaining so that they may have more power to barter with the unions. It has nothing to do with tax base. There are approximately 4,500 city employees. Per the 2000 census there are 163,000 residencies inside the City of Pgh. The math is simple.
      If City employees were able to immediately leave the city of pittsburgh and NOT a single home ever sold…..that would only be a loss of less than 2.5 percent of real estate tax base. And we know not all would leave. And we know the houses would be sold to someone. The tax base theory is simply a politicians’ scare tactic. Politicians don’t want to let City workers live where they want like all other Americans because then they have less influence over the unions.

  • Greg


    You couldnt say it any better

  • Luke R

    City Retirees should also live in the city or be paid a reduced pension for living outside the city. There pensions are paid by the tax payers, the amount paid into the fund doesn’t come close to the amount paid out.

    • Ron

      Absolutely totally agree !!!!

    • Burghless

      That is ridiculous. Nobody should be able to tell you where to live if you no longer work there. You put your time in, and now your retirement is yours to do with as you plesase. And for the record, every employee in the city from the first day of employment pays into their pension, so don’t say the taxpayers are paying for it.

      • Ron

        how miniscule of an amount is that? take a 401k like the rest of the world for your retirement option

        there was an or option of taking less if you decided to live elsewhere…. did you read that part?

    • Senseless

      So you’re saying that if you work for the State that you should never leave PA or forfeit your pension? Or how about retiriing from Exxon, and if you use GetGo gasoline, you would forfeit your pension? That’s how absurd you sound.

      • Senseless

        Ron – I agree with you that if you’re working for the city you should abide by the rules, and if a residency requirement is a rule, then you should reside within the limits while working. However, when you retire, no one has the right to tell you where you can and cannot live, regardless of where you worked. The people who retire have given many years to the city, so if they choose to live in Florida, that is their God-given right to do so. They already paid their dues.

      • Ron

        Senseless – how about a lawsuit for not fulfilling your obligation when hired by the city to live in the city while you are employed or simply just terminate ?

        how can the city be good enough to work for but not live in?

        if not willing to do this then don’t apply…… right?

      • Ron

        no one said forfeit…. spell it out with me r-e-d-u-c-e-d for not living in the city

      • Senseless

        Ron – regardless of how you attempt to justify your comments, making someone live within an area for pension reasons or R E D U C I N G their pension because they choose to live somewhere else would make for a great lawsuit.

  • Chanel 4

    Tune in tonight while Marty drags this out for 3 nights

  • Andrew Stocky

    Marty has been irrelevant for about 8 years

  • poop

    Marty will drop this fast because the biggest violators of this rule are the police and firefighters !

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