Saturday, April 18, 2015

Judge: Firefighters arbitration panel took city's finances into account

Common Pleas Court Judge Idee Fox on Friday released the written opinion for her November decision to reject the Nutter administration's appeal of an arbitration award for the city's firefighters union.

Judge: Firefighters arbitration panel took city's finances into account

Common Pleas Court Judge Idee Fox on Friday released the written opinion for her November decision to reject the Nutter administration's appeal of an arbitration award for the city's firefighters union. 

In turning away the city's argument that it cannot afford to pay the award, Fox wrote that the arbitration panel gave sufficient consideration to evidence about the city's financial constraints. It's not the courts' role, she reasoned, to question the panel's decision unless there's proof it didn't pay attention to relevant evidence.

The city is appealing Fox's decision to Commonwealth Court. It's the second trip up the appeals ladder for Nutter and Local 22 of the International Association of Fire Fighters. Last time, the Common Pleas Court sent the dispute back to the arbitration panel, which slightly altered but largely kept intact its decision to award the firefighters retroactive pay raises and other benefits.

The union, which has been working without a contract since 2009, has bitterly protested Nutter's refusal to accept the panel's decisions. The administration, however, has maintained that accepting the awards would be too costly for the cash-strapped city. 

About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
 Follow William on Twitter

David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
 Follow David on Twitter

Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected