Philly City Council panel backs bill setting aside $66 million for firefighters

A Philadelphia City Council committee has voted to set aside money to pay for a firefighters contract that Mayor Michael Nutter is still challenging in court. 

The bill calls for Philadelphia to set aside $66 million to cover the contract an arbitrator awarded to city firefighters. Nutter is appealing that award, contending the city cannot afford it.

Councilman Brian O’Neill says it’s time to put some money away for this.

“We’re not really caring about who’s got the authority to do it or not,” he said. “If it’s right, we’re going to get to here anyway one way or another.”

City budget director Rebecca Rhynhart said Thursday setting aside the funds would create a problem with the five-year budget plan.

“The $66 million would put our plan significantly into negative territory,” she said.

The bill was approved and now goes to the full council.



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