PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – One of Mayor Nutter’s allies on City Council is taking him to task in a dispute over whether the city’s paramedics should be considered firefighters.
City councilman Jim Kenney (in file photo above), a longtime Nutter supporter, made an impassioned speech on the floor of Council on Thursday against the mayor’s plan to remove paramedics from contract negotiations:
“I’m asking the mayor as my friend, I’m asking the mayor as the leader of this city, to stop this from happening, to sit down, slow down, and let’s work this out.”
Nutter, for his part, defends the policy and downplays the rift with Kenney:
“He sees it from one perspective as a councilmember, and on this one I see it from a different perspective as the chief executive officer of this city. That’s my job.”
Kenney’s speech followed a state Labor Relations Board ruling that said paramedics are not members of the firefighters’ union (see related story). The union plans to appeal.
Reported by KYW City Hall Bureau Chief Mike Dunn.