City Hall, Firefighters Are in Fiery Battle Over Contract

Remember July 2009? Barack Obama had been president a few months, a new movement called the “Tea Party” was making Democrats nervous, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ruled the movie theaters. That’s also when a new contract was supposed to take effect for Philadelphia firefighters—but that part never really happened. Instead, the firefighters’ union battled Mayor Nutter’s administration today in Common Please Court over the contract an arbitrator approved last summer, which guarantees firefighters annual raises of 3 percent. City Hall says it can’t afford the ruling. ‘The fact is, the money isn’t there,” said Shannon Farmer, a lawyer for Nutter’s office. Judge Idee Fox may not rule until after November—at which date it will nearly be time to start working on the firefighters’ next contract. [CBS Philly]