PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Port Authority Board on Friday voted to fire CEO Steve Bland. And now, KDKA has learned Bland handed out some last-minute raises.
You could call it Bland’s parting gift to non-union employees of the Port Authority.
A two-and-a-quarter percent raise given the same day three out of five board members voted to fire Bland after seven years as CEO.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald found out about it when he was contacted by a union driver who was furious.
“We’re trying to reform this agency; we’re trying to show we can hold the line on expenses. We’re going to the state to try to get additional money. This is not the time to try to sneak through some sort of a pay increase,” said Fitzgerald.
Port Authority Spokesman Jim Ritchie confirmed the raise for the non-union employees.
An email Bland sent out before his departure explained his rationale:
“In our recent collective bargaining agreement with ATU Local 85, the union membership accepted a 30-month wage freeze to be followed by a 2.25 percent increase on July 1, 2014. Our non-represented employees will have been under a 30-month wage freeze as of February 1, 2013, matching the union’s concession in this regard.”
Fitzgerald says he won’t comment on whether or not Bland gave the raises for malicious reasons, but did say the timing couldn’t be worse.
“It wasn’t authorized, it shouldn’t have been done and now we have to look into it to see how it can be undone,” said Fitzgerald.