Firefighters Get Contract Deal

The city has agreed to a one-year contract with the firefighters union that provides raises but decreases the amount paid per member into the union health care fund.

The deal with the Philadelphia Firefighters Union, brokered by an arbitration panel, is similar to the contract given to the Fraternal Order of Police in June. Firefighters will receive a 2 percent raise, effective in July 2008 and a 2 percent raise effective on January 1, 2009. Health care contributions per member will be lowered from $1,444 per month to $1,270 per month -- which the city says will cover benefits.

“Even as the city faces significant fiscal challenges we accept this award as a fair deal for the taxpayers of this city, and a fair deal for the firefighters and paramedics who risk their lives every day to keep Philadelphians safe,” said Mayor Nutter in a statement.

The firefighters were the last of the four city unions waiting on a contract. Unions representing blue collar and white collar city workers inked deals over the summer. Like the other three unions, firefighters have agreed to participate in a city health-care committee that will examine how to maintain benefits while bringing down costs.