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Philadelphia Unions Urging Nutter to Abandon Firefighter Contract Appeals

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Unions in the city of Philadelphia are repeating their call for mayor Michael Nutter to stop his legal challenge of the firefighters’ union’s arbitration award.

You’re not fighting the police award, local labor leaders were asking Mayor Nutter today, so why are you continuing to fight the firefighters’ arbitration award?

Firefighters’ union head Bill Gault (at right in photo) says his members have been without a raise since 2009, and the union has won twice in arbitration and once more in court since then (see related story).

“This mayor is breaking the law,” Gault said today.  “Binding is binding.  We have to live with the results, so he has to live with the results.”

But Mark McDonald, the mayor’s spokesman, maintains the firefighters’ award is too expensive, and the city is exercising its legal right to appeal (another related story).

Philadelphia AFL-CIO head Pat Eiding says the mayor should do what’s right:

“He has to pay the firemen what’s due.  (The firefighters’ union) did the process probably more than anybody ever before, and to take this stuff to court and to try to do his job in court, (the mayor) ought to be ashamed of himself.”

But McDonald says the police contract contained health insurance savings that the firefighters’ contract does not.

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