Nutter again appeals firefighters' arbitration award

Posted: December 13, 2012

MAYOR NUTTER doesn't quit.

On Tuesday, the city notified Common Pleas Court that it will again appeal the contract-arbitration award for Philadelphia firefighters.

In 2010, an arbitration panel issued an award for firefighters, which the city appealed. After both groups decided to send the contract back to an arbitrator, the arbitrator returned an award with most of the same terms. The city appealed again. In November, a Common Pleas judge upheld the award, which includes raises for the firefighters. That decision is now being appealed to Commonwealth Court.

City officials argue that they can't afford the award.

"The arbitration award would add more than $200 million of additional costs to the city's general fund over the course of the current five-year plan," says mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald.

Bill Gault, president of the firefighters union Local 22, said that it will cost less. He puts the total price tag at $66 million. He blasted Nutter for appealing again.

"The award has been won twice by an arbitration panel," said Gault. "A judge has said to put this into play. This is kicking the can down the road."

The firefighter's union has been without a contract since 2009.


Holly Otterbein writes for It's Our Money, a joint project of the Daily News and WHYY funded by the William Penn Foundation, that works to shed light on where your tax dollars are going.

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