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NEWS
September 8, 2013 | BY SEAN COLLINS WALSH, Daily News Staff Writer walshSE@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
AFTER AN UGLY and unprecedented four-year battle with the city's firefighters' union, Mayor Nutter has raised the white flag. Nutter yesterday withdrew his appeal of an arbitration award that the administration had long contended it could not afford. "We made the appeal for the right reasons," Nutter said. "We couldn't afford it. Now we can. " The city will pay its firefighters and paramedics $47 million in retroactive wage increases - about $5,000 per employee, on average - and make a $28 million payment to union health-care funds.
NEWS
September 8, 2013 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mayor Nutter ended one of his administration's most contentious labor disputes Friday, agreeing to drop an appeal of the city firefighters' arbitration award and pay them back raises and benefits. Each firefighter should see about $5,000 in back pay in the coming weeks, costing the city $47 million, officials said. Nutter's act resolved a five-year dispute with Local 22 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, the union for firefighters and paramedics, but the administration remained in a showdown with two of the city's four largest municipal workers unions.
NEWS
September 6, 2013 | By Darran Simon, Inquirer Staff Writer
There are "no indications" that an 11-alarm blaze that destroyed a Delanco warehouse was set, the township fire chief said Wednesday. Ron Holt said investigators were working to determine the cause of the blaze at the Dietz & Watson facility. Flames were reported coming from the roof around 1:45 p.m. Sunday, and the fire was brought under control by about 5:40 p.m. Monday. Holt said a fire suppression team wrapped up early Wednesday afternoon, but a crew would monitor the building overnight.
NEWS
August 30, 2013 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
SEVERAL residents were displaced yesterday by an apartment fire in Queen Village on the same Fabric Row block where a firefighter was killed battling a blaze in April. The fire was reported at 3:13 p.m. in a second-floor apartment above Anh's Custom Tailors and Cleaners at 4th and Catharine streets. Firefighters got the blaze under control at 3:53 p.m. The fire itself did little damage to the exterior of the building, but heavy smoke forced out residents of the apartments and two nearby homes.
NEWS
August 23, 2013 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Anthony J. Gresko was a child in Lyndhurst, N.J., he and his best friend would ride their bicycles to local fires. "He had a little hose on the back of the bike," as if it were a miniature fire truck, his wife, Esther, said. Mr. Gresko's interest in firefighting, she said, was "a boyhood thing, and he carried it right through to the end. " On Sunday, Aug. 18, Mr. Gresko, 52, of Pitman, a prominent firefighter, died of kidney cancer at his home. Mr. Gresko was chief of Pitman Fire Company No. 1 from 1989 to 1998, his wife said.
NEWS
August 16, 2013 | BY SEAN COLLINS WALSH, Daily News Staff Writer walshSE@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
MAYOR NUTTER announced yesterday that he will not appeal a court ruling that ordered the city to aid the firefighters union's cash-strapped health-care fund and is estimated to cost the city $69 million in the next five years. The move came as a surprise, because Nutter has been in a four-year stalemate with the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 22 and has appealed decisions favorable to the union, including contract arbitration awards the city says it can't afford. Last week's ruling, issued by Common Pleas Judge Idee Fox, calls for a $6.2 million lump-sum payment to the union's health fund, a $7.5 million payment to the retiree trust fund and an increase in the city's monthly contributions to the health fund of about $420 per employee.
NEWS
August 16, 2013 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Nutter administration agreed Wednesday not to appeal a judge's order to pay a lump sum into the city firefighters' union health-care fund, ending a portion of a long-running contract dispute. The administration also agreed to increase the city's contribution to the fund by about $400 per member per month. The city calculated that the cost would be about $69 million over the next five years. Mayor Nutter, however, called Common Pleas Court Judge Idee C. Fox's Aug. 7 order "temporary in nature.
NEWS
August 16, 2013 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
Camden firefighter Gabriel Angemi wants us to see the city as he sees it: Up close, raw, and real. So he photographs the flames, the faces, the forlorn places, and the gritty moments of grace that are Camden. "I was born for this," says Angemi, 37, referring to both the fire service and his street-smart art. "They say it's in your blood. " His father, Ronald, is a retired Camden firefighter from whom Angemi says he inherited his vocational - as well as artistic - inclinations.
NEWS
August 9, 2013 | BY SEAN COLLINS WALSH, Daily News Staff Writer walshSE@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
AS THE NUTTER administration and firefighters union get ready to duke it out in state Commonwealth Court, a Philadelphia judge has ordered the city to make a lump-sum payment of $6.7 million to the union's health-care fund, as well as increase its monthly contribution to the fund. Local 22 of the International Association of Fire Fighters asked Common Pleas Judge Idee Fox to make the city implement an arbitration award that the Nutter administration is appealing to Commonwealth Court.
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