Firefighters, Nutter say 4-year contract a win for both sides

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 Mayor Michael Nutter, (left), speaks with Joe Schulle, head of the Philadelphia firefighters union Local 22, outside the Municipal Services Building in this file photo. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Mayor Michael Nutter, (left), speaks with Joe Schulle, head of the Philadelphia firefighters union Local 22, outside the Municipal Services Building in this file photo. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

The Philadelphia firefighters union has a new four-year contract following binding arbitration.

The deal includes three raises for firefighters — 3 percent retroactive to July of 2013; 3 percent retroactive to July of 2014; and 3.25 percent that will kick in this July. The amount of a fourth raise will be determined  in 2016, the final year of the contract.

Mayor Michael Nutter said the city will also benefit from the agreement as it takes over the firefighters health care through self-insurance.

“This will clearly benefit the taxpayers of the city of Philadelphia,” Nutter said Friday. “A similar structure put in place with the FOP in 2009 and 2010 … saved the city roughly $70 million in health care costs.”

Firefighters union head Joe Schulle credited both sides with working together to come up with the agreement.

Though the deal calls for no changes in the health plan, it will offer incentives to participate in fitness programs.

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