Nutter used his one bite at the apple when he appealed the four-year contract awarded in 2010. Since then, the arbitration panel met with both parties and addressed in specific detail every city concern. On July 2, the panel issued an award that largely reaffirmed the initial award of two years ago.
Under the law, the matter is decided. Under the law, the contract must now be implemented.
But Nutter has adopted a cynical and illegal tactic that will deny firefighters and medics and their families their first pay increase in four years. By claiming, even for one day, a right to appeal that is statutorily denied him, Nutter continues to harm those many consider heroes and necessary to health, life and preservation of their property.
The reason we filed suit now, in addition to the obvious breach of law, is the expectation based on historic precedent that Nutter will proceed true to form and contest the award in court.
Firefighters and medics simply want what is fair. Not what we deem fair, but what a disinterested neutral party twice deemed fair. Is it too much to demand of those who are sworn to obey and defend state law that they actually do so?
Bill Gault, president, Local 22
International Assn. of Fire Fighters