Councilman calls on mayor to pay firefighters union Local 22 contract

Philadelphia firefighters union Local 22 contract dispute
Rikard Larma/Metro. Local 22 has been working without a contract since 2009.

City Councilman David Oh on Thursday introduced legislation calling on Mayor Michael Nutter’s administration to pay part of the disputed contract for city firefighters union Local 22 and setting aside a dedicated fund to make sure any future monies owed will be readily available.

“As we look at the budget, which we’re going to hear about from the mayor next week, at this time there’s a dispute between the firefighters and the administration over the amount of that contract,” Oh said.

He noted the firefighters states the contract will cost $66 million to honor, while the administration has put that number at $154 million. Oh wants the administration to pay the union the former sum now, then deposit 50 percent of of the latter monies into a dedicated fund over the next four years.

“My concern and I think the concern of all of Council is should a court order this money be paid in one lump sum, we will not be able to pay that sum without having to either borrow the money, cut services or raise taxes,” Oh said.

“I think it’s also not a good idea to try to use that money – which is uncontroverted – as a negotiating tactic.”


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