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Philadelphia Local 22 Demands City Honor Contract

December 12, 2006 – More than 250 members of Philadelphia, PA Local 22 – along with 150 other union members – rallied December 7 with a message for the City of Philadelphia to implement their contracts and the Act 111 binding arbitration award.

IAFF 4th District Vice President Bill Taylor, Pennsylvania Professional Fire Fighters Association President Dave Eckman, Upper Darby, PA Local 2493 President Pete Huf and Greater Delaware Professional Fire Fighters' Association Trust President Martin Kelly and Local 22 President Brian McBride attended the rally.

“All we want is for the City to do the right thing and honor our arbitration award,” says McBride. “For more than a year, Local 22 fire fighters and paramedics have been working without a labor contract. Throughout this period, the City has taken step after step to avoid honoring the contract.”

The contract calls for a mandatory independent-review process for future company eliminations, with binding arbitration over disputes and no eliminations pending completion of the process.

The second of the most notable provisions is a pilot ALS-Engine program for paramedics. Philadelphia has one of the highest EMS unit run volumes in the country. This trial program could lead to ways to give currently overworked paramedics some relief.

The City of Philadelphia has been using a stipulation in the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA) statute of 1991 to appeal many of the contract provisions. The City claims that the arbitrator did not consider the city’s five-year plan and, therefore, overstepped his boundaries.

In September, when the City appealed the arbitrator’s decision, the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia upheld the arbitrator’s decision. However, the City appealed that court’s decision and has until December 29 to turn in the materials for their case. At that time, Local 22 will have 30 days to refute any of the City’s arguments.


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