PHILADELPHIA – The City and the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 22 today received from a panel of arbitrators an award for a new three-year contract.
The award is retroactive to July 1, 2017 and continues through June 30, 2020. The panel of arbitrators awarded Local 22 wage increases of 3.25%, 3.5% and 3.75% in each year of the contract respectively. The arbitrators’ decision is available here.
The City was awarded increased pension contributions that will provide more than $57 million to the Pension Fund over the next 13 years. This award is consistent with the City’s goal of having the City Pension Fund 80% funded within 13 years. With this award, the City has now achieved pension reform with three of its four largest unions. The City will continue to seek a stacked hybrid model with District Council 47.
The award includes a comprehensive procedure to reform the disability process for workers with on the job injuries to ensure high quality care and a timely return to duty. Retirees will also be encouraged to move into Medicare, with no reduction in benefits to them, which in turn will reduce the City’s cost of post-retirement health care. Other reforms include the modernization of payroll practices and the ability for additional vacation scheduling controls for new employees.
State law dictates that the City’s fire and police contracts are decided by a panel of three arbitrators, one selected by the City, one selected by the union, and one neutral arbitrator appointed by the American Arbitration Association. The arbitrators heard testimony from numerous witnesses and reviewed thousands of pages of exhibits presented by both sides over a series of months before issuing their decision.
The Administration is examining its options for funding the award’s wage increases and other components.