Reporting Mike Dunn
By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Mayor Nutter’s long-running contract dispute with the firefighters union boiled over in City Council this past week. The lawmakers overrode a Nutter veto and ordered millions of dollars set aside to pay for the contract.
Mayor Nutter had earlier vetoed Councilman David Oh’s bill that would force the mayor to earmark $66-million toward the firefighters award, to be used if the contract dispute is settled in the union’s favor.
This past week, Council members unanimously overrode the veto, and Oh says that money must now be earmarked:
“We have set aside a portion of that balance to be used for that purpose. Now the mayor may not use it, but I do not think that he can use it for other purposes.”
The Nutter Administration has already announced that it is setting aside $31-million toward the eventual contract resolution.
Oh says the higher number — $66 million — is the amount that would be owed even if the Administration prevails, though the administration disputes that point.
The mayor and the union have been battling over the new deal since 2009, with Nutter contending that the arbitrator’s award is too expensive.