Peoria city council ends its legal battle with Local 50 Fire Union

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — In a 9-1 vote, the Peoria City Council agreed to end its legal battle with the local fire union at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

The Local 50 Fire Union filed an Unfair Labor Practice suit against the city in 2018. However, just weeks ago, the union was asked by the city if they’d consider dropping the suit in exchange for fewer cuts to the department.

When the vote came before the council, Councilmember Zach Oyler was the sole no vote and Councilwoman Denise Moore was absent.

City manager Patrick Urich said going forward, this means this city will withdraw it’s appeal in the appellate court and the fire union will notify the Illinois Labor Relations Board that the matter has been settled.

Urich said the city will keep Fire Station and Engine 20 through March 31. He said after that date, the city can decide to either keep or reduce the machine depending on how Peoria’s economy looks at that time.

Councilman Chuck Grayeb said this is a matter that should have been settled weeks ago.

“I’m welcoming all of you to support this,” Grayeb said. “There is nothing nefarious about settling a lawsuit that will promote public safety and save dollars and stop unnecessary litigation. This has nothing to do with Illinois politics this is called common sense.”

Fire Chief Tony Ardis said the fire union filed the Unfair Labor Practice after the city periodically shut down its rescue squads.

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