PHILADELPHIA, PA – TWO WEEKS after an arbitration panel awarded the city’s firefighters raises and protections against furloughs, its union is taking the city to court to make sure the award is implemented.
Bill Gault, president of Philadelphia Fire Fighter’s Union Local 22, said Tuesday that the union filed a lawsuit to “quicken the process” of getting the award put into place.
Mayor Nutter said that he doesn’t know what instigated the suit but that the city is within the legal time frame and is “fully examining that award.”
The city has 30 days from the time the award was issued to decide whether to appeal, but Gault said a lack of communication between him and Nutter made the union decide to sue just 15 days after the raises were awarded.
“It’s time. He hasn’t returned my phone call, my text message in two weeks,” Gault said. “I believe he has a personal vendetta against the Fire Department.”
The suit is the latest in a series of events that have elevated tensions between Nutter and the union.
The International Association of Firefighters will hold its convention in the city starting Saturday, and Gault said that Nutter “chose not to respond” to his invitation.
Said Nutter: “I don’t know what my schedule is like for the next week.”