Firefighters Bill of Rights introduced in City Council

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 Firefighters battle a fire in Philadelphia (Matt Rourke/AP Photo, file)

Firefighters battle a fire in Philadelphia (Matt Rourke/AP Photo, file)

Philadelphia City Council is considering a “firefighters bill of rights.”

Councilman Jim Kenney proposed the bill which among other things defines the discipline process for firefighters. Kenney says there is a double standard when it comes to how firefighters are treated compared to other unions.

“The problem with the disciplinary side of it is that someone loses their job, they go through a review panel and they are fired, they file for arbitration, an arbitration date is set and mysteriously a continuance gets asked for and another continuance gets asked for and a year later they still haven’t been to arbitration,” Kenney said. “The member has not been paid and it’s just kind of torturing people to death.”

Firefighters union head Joe Schulle says council has urged the city to adopt these reforms on its own. Now he says this bill would do it through legislation.

“Council urged the department to fill the promotional vacancies as required by the home rule charter, the city declined,” Schulle said. “Council urged the department not to implement the extremely dangerous and demoralizing mass rotation policy the department did it anyway.”

The bill will be the subject of an upcoming council hearing.

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