Firefighters battle city over 14 proposed demotions

firefighters union local 22
Members of firefighters union Local 22, pictured here at a rally in March, have a long and heated history with Mayor Michael Nutter’s administration.
Credit: Rikard Larma / Metro

Members of the International Association of Firefighters and Paramedics Local 22 will be in court Wednesday afternoon in an attempt to prevent the city from demoting 14 Philadelphia firefighters who had just been promoted in May.

At the heart of the dispute is whether Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers must fill vacancies for captain and lieutenant positions with firefighters who pass the promotion exam, or whether Ayers can make promotions at his discretion.

After the city in early May didn’t fill fire department vacancies based on the then-current promotion list, Local 22 sued.

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker on May 14 ruled in the union’s favor, compelling the city to fill five captain and nine lieutenant openings with firefighters whose names were on the promotion list, which expired May 24.

But the city appealed the decision and Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini agreed, ordering Sept. 18 that Tucker’s ruling be reversed, meaning all 14 recently promoted firefighters would be demoted.

During the appeal, the fire department administered a new round of promotion tests and the 14 firefighters who had already been promoted were excluded from consideration, according to the union, meaning were they demoted and would have to wait a year to reapply for the jobs.

The battle took another turn Tuesday evening when Court of Common Pleas Judge Ellen Ceisler put a stop to the demotions until Tucker reviews the case.

“The Philadelphia Firefighters and Paramedics Union Local 22 thanks Judge Ceisler for preventing the Fire Department from moving forward with its planned demotion of 14 of our members tomorrow,” Local 22 President Joe Schulle said in a statement.

“The PFD has no justifiable reason for this grossly unfair move that would severely hurt these firefighters’ careers and their families’ finances. We will continue to fight this injustice in the courts for as long as it takes.”

Local 22 members postponed a planned 9 a.m. protest outside the fire department headquarters and will at 1:30 p.m. be in Tucker’s courtroom to continue arguing their case.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor pledges lower greenhouse gas emissions from New…

Just hours before the start of the People’s Climate March on Sunday, and two days ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, Mayor Bill de…

National

The best places to see the Northern Lights…

A large solar storm hit the Earth's atmosphere and will tonight illuminate the skies with aurora borealis -- also known as the Northern Lights.

Local

Police officer killed Sunday morning Bronx crash, 8…

One NYPD police officer was killed and eight other officers were injured early Sunday morning when the van they were traveling in crashed  in the…

National

Pennsylvania police shooter manhunt near home of suspect's…

A police manhunt intensified on Friday for the gunman who killed an officer and wounded another in an ambush at a Pennsylvania police barracks a week ago.

Television

'How to Get Away with' mischaracterizing Shondra Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes read Alessandra Stanley's New York Times piece about her being "an angry black woman" and "a romance writer" and it did not sit well with her.

Gossip

New nude celebrity selfies leak … and Clay…

A new batch of nude selfies of Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Lake Bell and Avril Lavigne hit the web and Clay Aiken has something to say!

Television

James Spader's route to villainy on "The Blacklist"

In honor of the second season premiere of "The Blacklist" tonight, where James Spader plays good guy/bad guy Raymond “Red” Reddington, it’s a good time to look back at Spader’s…

Television

True Detective

NFL

Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.

NFL

Jets vs. Bears: 3 things to watch

Jets fans likely chalked up Monday's matchup with the Bears as a loss when the NFL schedule came out. But given their team's play so…

NFL

Rashad Jennings carries Giants in first win this…

Rashad Jennings, who came to New York from Oakland last year, by way of Jacksonville, was highly coveted this offseason by general manager Jerry Reese.

NFL

3 things we learned as Giants pick up…

The Giants picked up their first win of the season over the Texans.

Career

Here's how to make the most of visit…

You’re primped, you’re looking polished, you’re prepared with a stack of resumes. Job fair hunters, unite! There are a few things to keep in mind…

Education

Learn how to study effectively and stop cramming…

Picture this: It’s midterm week, and college students everywhere are trying to frantically memorize all of the math formulas, political theories and historical facts that…

Parenting

How motherhood inspired Bethenny Frankel's new book

Bethenny Frankel's new children's book is about how her daughter and dog didn't always get alone.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.