PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After months of waiting, the city and its fire fighters received an arbitration decision on a new contract. Practically before the ink was dry, Mayor Nutter announced he would appeal. The fire fighters union says they’ll fight back in court.
“This award is bad in the short term and worse in the long term,” said Mayor Nutter.
Nutter says the city can’t afford the award, which includes nine percent in raises over 4 years, because there are no cost-cutting options, such as furloughs, which the police award included and because there are no incentives to contain health care costs.
“The taxpayers would be left in a completely vulnerable position to tens of millions of dollars of additional costs.”
“Our administrative costs for running our health plan are two percent. That’s unheard of in the world.”
Fire fighters union president Bill Gault says he was pleased with the award and is not happy the mayor is appealing. He dismisses the argument that it’s unaffordable and says he thinks it’s personal.
“Between this, the closing of the companies, the brown outs, taking the medics out of the union. He’s got his pound of flesh from the Philadelphia fire department from local 22.”
Reported By Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio