The Philadelphia Fire Department gained a new commissioner on June 14, one day following the retirement of the often-controversial Lloyd Ayers, who served 40 years as a firefighter, including the last decade as commissioner. Mayor Michael Nutter named Derrick Sawyer as Ayers’ successor last month.
In the continuum of contentiousness between the Nutter administration and the members of the Philadelphia’s firefighters and paramedics union, brownouts in particular stick in the union’s craw.
An investigating grand jury convened by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has chosen not to recommend criminal charges in connection with a 2012 arson that destroyed a vacant Kensington warehouse and claimed the lives of two city firefighters.
Before joining the Philadelphia Fire Department, Joseph Pospiech served in combat with the U.S. military during the Vietnam War.
Five members of the Philadelphia Fire Department’s formerly segregated Engine 11 were among dozens of firefighters, paramedics and civilians honored during the annual Firefighter Recognition Day, presented by Local 22 of the International Association of Fire Fighters on Sept. 8.
City Councilman James Kenney introduced legislation on Thursday to void the mayor’s unilateral powers to appeal contract arbitration outcomes involving the city’s firefighters, paramedics and police.
“This dispute was always and only about affordability. And we as a city are now in a place to provide pay increases as set out in that award.” — Mayor Michael Nutter
Local 22 President Joe Schulle is facing many challenges, including an all-time low in morale.
Even as City Hall and Philadelphia’s firefighters union embarked on new contract arbitration last week, Mayor Michael Nutter yielded ground in his administration’s prolonged legal war with firefighters over their recently expired 2009 contract.