IN THE latest 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 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 that it would cost the city only $16 million.
But Bill Gault, president of Fire Fighters' and Paramedics 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 first issued in 2010. Over the summer, an arbitration panel issued a similar award, which included three years of 3 percent raises, protection from unpaid furloughs and more funding for health benefits. The city also appealed that award.