Paramedics and firefighters can bargain together

A state court ruled Thursday that about 200 Philadelphia paramedics belong to the local firefighters bargaining unit, a victory for the city’s firefighters' union and a blow to Mayor Nutter.

In its decision, a three-judge panel of the Commonwealth Court reversed a decision by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board that had said the city could separate the paramedics from the firefighters.

 The appeals court said the two groups should be able to bargain as one because they have worked alongside each other for decades. A spokesman for the firefighters' union praised the decision. A spokesman for Nutter says city officials are reviewing the opinion and weighing their legal options.

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