An arbitration panel has awarded a five-year contract to city employees represented by the Fraternal Order of Police. You can read the spin from the Fraternal Order of Police on their website.

We expect to have a statement from Mayor Nutter soon. If the city disagrees with the award, it can appeal the decision. Otherwise, this award will serve as the collective bargaining agreement for more than 6,700 city employees.

Catherine Lucey has the details on the contract over at Clout. Here's the bottom line: a seven percent raise over the next three years, and then a wage re-opener in the final two years (Mayor Nutter wanted zero wage increases throughout the life of the contract). There are also alterations to benefits: the union will switch to a self-insured health plan, which is expected to save the city money, and new hires will either pay a higher premium to stay in the existing pension plan, or a lower premium for a hybrid 401K/pension plan.

This decision could set the tone for the contracts of other city unions, which are still in negotiations.

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