Firefighters union moves to force Philly’s to implement arbitration award

The union representing Philadelphia firefighters is headed to court to force the city to implement an arbitrator’s ruling.

Firefighters union head Bill Gault said Tuesday the suit is an effort to compel the city to accept the latest ruling from a contract arbitrator.

Gault says he’s tried to contact Mayor Michael Nutter to convince him the deal is affordable.

“This award is like a million dollars a year to the city. It’s a pittance,” Gault said. “They already get back $15 million through the closings, the brownouts. The commissioner already gave back $5 million from his budget.”

Nutter says the city is within its rights to review the award.

“The law allows for a certain amount of time for us to review the arbitrator award,” Nutter said. “We are within that time frame and we are fully examining the award. I don’t know what instigated (the lawsuit) but anybody can file suit about anything they want.”

The city still has about two weeks to decide whether to appeal the ruling. The firefighters have been working without a contract for three years.

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