By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Nutter Administration has decided not to fight last week’s order from a city judge for increased payments to the firefighter’s union health care fund.

Because the Mayor is still appealing the firefighter’s 2009 arbitration award, the union last week told a judge that their health care fund was nearly bone dry. The judge ordered the city to immediately provide a lump sum, $6.7 million payment, and to increase its monthly contribution per firefighter from $1,270 to $1,619, as the appeals process drags on.

Now, a week later, the mayor has decided not to appeal and will make the payment. In a statement, Nutter said he feels it’s more important for Commonwealth Court to focus on the entire appeal rather than on this ruling.

Firefighters Local 22 chief Joe Schulle is pleased.

“We are grateful that the city has elected not to appeal the ruling of Judge Fox. And honoring this significant portion of the award is hopefully a big step in hopefully resolving the entire 2009 contract award,” said Schulle.

Commonwealth Court will hear arguments on the city’s appeal of the entire arbitration award on September 11th. Meantime, arbitration proceedings on a new contract got underway this week, even though the old contract is still unsettled.

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