Stack Urges Mayor to Withdraw Appeal of Firefighters’ Contract
PHILADELPHIA, July 30, 2012 — State Sen. Mike Stack today said that Philadelphia’s firefighters and paramedics deserve the mayor’s support and the benefits awarded to them in their new contract.
Stack sent a letter today urging Mayor Michael Nutter to withdraw his appeal of the arbitration panel’s recent award decision, which will end a three-year contract dispute.
“Philadelphia firefighters and paramedics are brave, hardworking public servants who always answer the call. They step up to protect the public from burning warehouses and homes, auto accidents, gas spills, and other dangerous situations,” Stack said. “Now it is our time to protect them.”
Stack said the city should forward and implement the arbitration panel’s decision so that citizens of Philadelphia will continue to receive critical firefighting services.
“I know that these difficult, financial times make it nearly impossible to adequately fund every program; however, in a city the size of Philadelphia, we cannot afford to jeopardize the quality of our emergency services,” Stack said. “More importantly, fire safety is an area that we must preserve and strengthen.”
Stack said Controller Alan Butkovitz has pointed out that the city can afford to pay for the contract award. Additionally, the fire department’s recent cost-savings measures, including firehouse closings and brownouts, save an approximate $14.5 million per year. Stack also said the General Assembly gave the city the authority to increase its sales tax to pay for critical city services.
“The mayor should focus on collecting the $515 million in delinquent property taxes to bring in revenue, instead of fighting with the men and women who are protecting citizens’ safety,” Stack said. “I urge the mayor to look at other options to bring in revenue, rather than fight to deplete an invaluable service.”