Councilman wants Philly to set aside some money for firefighter settlement

Councilman David Oh says even as Philadelphia fights in court against the contract firefighters won in arbitration, the city should be saving money just in case.

Oh says it’s time the city put aside money to pay for the contract.  He says this is merely planning to have funds on hand when the court fight is over.

“This is now in court, the city has lost in two binding arbitrations, lost an appeal of those binding arbitrations in Common Pleas Court,” said Oh. “[The city] has as appealed to Commonwealth Court may very well appeal to the Supreme Court. At the end of the day it appears less likely than likely that the city is going to win.”

Oh says it would help, even if the city put aside just some of the money demanded by the arbitrator.

“So rather than put this city into a bind where the city will have to cut services, raise taxes and borrow money we should pay the money that we owe and should set aside the money that we need to pay down this debt,” he said.

The Nutter administration wants the arbitration ruling overturned completely, calling the contract unaffordable.  A spokesman says until appeals are exhausted, the city does not feel it owes anything.

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