By Mike DeNardo

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The union representing Philadelphia firefighters has gone to court to try to get the city to implement the pay raises awarded by an arbitrator.

The Common Pleas Court suit seeks to force the city into abiding by an arbitrator’s ruling that gives firefighters a nine-percent pay raise.  The city, claiming the award was too expensive, appealed the original arbitration award nearly two years ago (see related story).

A judge sent it back to arbitration, and this month’s ruling basically upholds the original award.

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Firefighters’ Local 22 president Bill Gault says he went to court because his members have been four years without a raise.

“My members feel we’re just being slapped in the face here.  We’re getting absolutely no respect from this administration, and it’s wrong.”

Mayor Nutter says the law gives the city 30 days to decide whether to appeal the latest arbitration ruling.

“We’re going to review it within the time frame as allowed by law,” the mayor said, adding that no decision on an appeal has been made.

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