Pittsburgh Reaches Agreement With Union on Residency

The City of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Firefighters IAFF Local 1 have reached a compromise on ending a residency requirement for firefighters. The residency requirement was incorporated into the city charter in 2013 for firefighters and police officers.

Pittsburgh’s police union challenged the charter amendment contending it illegally removed an otherwise bargainable subject from the collective bargaining process. In 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed, ruling the charter amendment was unenforceable.

The firefighters and the city submitted the residency issue to a neutral arbitrator, who ordered the city to stop enforcing the residency requirement. That prompted the city to appeal the arbitrator’s ruling to court.

The compromise resolves the appeal by allowing firefighter to live outside city limits, but requires them to remain within a 60 minute drive of the City-County Building.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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