Northeast Times

Editorial: Give it up, Mr. Mayor

Ques­tion: When is a con­tract not a con­tract?
An­swer: When May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter doesn’t like it.
Mem­bers of the city fire­fight­ers uni­on, Loc­al 22, were sup­posed to get a new con­tract fol­low­ing bind­ing ar­bit­ra­tion in 2010, but Phil­adelphia’s may­or has thus far re­fused to hon­or the new deal. His reas­on, that the city can’t af­ford the new con­tract, is a poor ex­cuse and just doesn’t hold wa­ter. The city can find ways — i.e., by trim­ming its fisc­al fat — to pay the fire­fight­ers what they de­serve. In fact, the city can’t af­ford not to pay them more.
While fire­fight­er demon­strat­ors were a bit rude when they heckled the may­or at Tues­day morn­ing’s grand open­ing of a state-of-the-art fire­house in Ta­cony, their an­ger is un­der­stand­able. They’re tak­ing Mr. Nut­ter’s nasty at­ti­tude per­son­ally, as well they should. After all, these brave men and wo­men put their lives on the line every day.
Con­sid­er­ing that so many of them call North­east Philly home, every single per­son who lives or works in the North­east should bom­bard May­or Nut­ter’s of­fice with phone calls, let­ters and e-mails in­struct­ing the city’s top lead­er to stop ap­peal­ing the con­tact in court and make it hap­pen for Loc­al 22. Without our fire­fight­ers, the City of Broth­erly Love would be­come the City of Smothered Love.
Even Mr. Nut­ter’s fel­low Demo­crat­ic politi­cians are ur­ging the may­or to stop stick­ing it to the fire­fight­ers.
“It’s wrong and the may­or’s con­tinu­ous ef­forts to fight the con­tract award must end,” said state Sen. Mike Stack.
“The more time that goes by,” said state Sen. Tina Tartagli­one, “the harder it will be to re­store the trust between these ded­ic­ated pro­fes­sion­als and the city ad­min­is­tra­tion.”
Send let­ters to the ed­it­or to: pronews@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at staff@bsmphilly.com.

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