An arbitrator’s decision to grant 3 percent pay increases to unionized firefighters would violate state law by leaving the City of Philadelphia with a massive budget deficit, the City argued in its appeal of the award.

The City, which is represented by Ballard Spahr labor attorneys Shannon D. Farmer and Meredith C. Swartz, said the raises put the city $211 million over its anticipated budget for the fire department through fiscal year 2017. The City claims that the award violated the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority Act of 1991, which mandates that arbitration panels consider the City's financial plans when negotiating contracts with the City’s bargaining units.