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Firefighter's union files motion to hold Nutter in contempt of court

In the next episode of the firefighters' union vs. Mayor Nutter -the union filed a motion Thursday to hold the city in contempt of court for not implementing its recent arbitration award which included raises.

Earlier this month the Nutter administration appealed the award, again, after Common Pleas Court judge Idee C. Fox upheld it. Nutter said the award would be too expensive, costing more than $200 million over the current five year plan and an extra $84 million in the current fiscal year. The union argued it would cost the city only $16 million.

But Bill Gault, head of the Firefighters' Union Local 22 said the administration was put on notice that it had to obey Fox's decision because it had not asked for a stay of the judge's order. So the union filed a motion in Common pleas court to hold Nutter in contempt.The union also filed charges with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board against the city for unfair labor practices.

"There are [2,100] members that deserve their raises," Gault said. "They have been playing this game for three years. It's wrong."

Mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald said the administration does not comment on pending litigation. The city appealed an award that was first issued in 2010. Over the summer, an arbitration panel issued another award that was similar to the previous one, which included three years of 3-percent raises, protection from unpaid furloughs and more funding for health benefits which the city also appealed.

Jan Ransom