Philly firefighters continue battle for arbitration award

Philadelphia firefighters are trying to enlist City Council members to get their contract arbitration agreement put in place.

State Sen. Mike Stack, among those who came to City Hall Thursday on behalf of the firefighters, says Philadelphia officials should stop fighting the contract.

“I think they have acted in good faith, I think they are the best firefighters in the world. There have been two arbitration awards and a court finding as well,” Said Stack, D-Philadelphia.

“So I think they have been reasonable. And when the mayor says he cannot afford to pay the money, that’s the system. He can’t afford not to pay.”

Firefighters union president Bill Gault says Mayor Michael Nutter should have settled this long ago.

“Binding arbitration is binding, cops and firemen in the state of Pennsylvania cannot strike, a neutral [party] writes the award and we have to live with the results,” Gault said. “Basically this mayor is breaking the law.”

The Nutter administration contends it cannot afford the contract and that’s why it’s challenging it in court.

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