Bill Gault, President, IAFF Local 22, has lauded another court action favoring their contract efforts. He writes:
“Philadelphia’s 4,000 active and retired firefighters appreciate Common Pleas Court Judge Idee Fox’s recently issued Opinion in support of her Nov. 19, 2012 Order denying the Nutter administration’s petition to vacate our most recent Act 111 award.
“Judge Fox correctly stated neither the City nor PICA has the right to dictate terms to the Act 111 Panel, and that the Panel can deviate from the 5-Year Plan where appropriate and supported by evidence. The judge concluded that such evidence existed here, so there was no legal basis to vacate the award.
“To put it in layman’s terms, Judge Fox reaffirmed her prior ruling that our arbitration award was fair and affordable and must be honored by the City. Despite this latest legal setback for the Nutter administration, we fully expect them to continue to appeal our award in Commonwealth Court. We — along with many others — are now waiting to see if Nutter does the fiscally responsible thing and carries our award in the 5-Year Budget Plan he’s presenting to City Council on Mar. 14.
“We’re not holding our breath on that one. We firefighters and paramedics will continue to protect people’s lives while this administration continues to shame itself on the national stage by denying us the fair contract we’ve earned and deserve. It’s disgraceful.”