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    Court sides with Philadelphia Firefighters union in dispute over paramedics

    A state court is siding with the Philadelphia firefighters’ union in a longstanding dispute with the city over the status of paramedics.

    A three-judge panel of the Commonwealth Court ruled in a decision released Thursday that the roughly 200 Fire Service Paramedics in Pennsylvania’s largest city should continue to be treated as firefighters for the purpose of collective bargaining.

    The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board had granted the city’s petition to remove paramedics from the firefighters’ bargaining unit on grounds that paramedics are not engaged in firefighting. But the appellate court reversed that decision, saying that paramedics have long been an integrated service of any fire department.

     

    A spokesman for the firefighters’ union applauded the decision. A spokesman for Mayor Michael Nutter says city officials are weighing their legal options.

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