PALO ALTO (KCBS) – With negotiations at an impasse, Palo Alto firefighters are formally requesting mediation with the city. This comes a week after the union’s contract proposal was rejected, meaning both sides are headed towards binding arbitration.

”Under the charter we have a right to go to arbitration,” said Tony Spiltaleri, president of the Palo Alto Firefighters Union. “Any way that we can resolve our issues before going to arbitration is the best way to go. It’s best for the city and it’s good for the citizens.”

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KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

Palo Alto Councilman Pat Burt said voters could soon be asked to approve a charter amendment to do away with binding arbitration.

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”We’re one of only three cities in Santa Clara County that has binding arbitration for public safety officers,” said Burt. “We’re part of only five percent of the cities in the state that have binding arbitration.”

Burt called the firefighters’ mediation request a delaying tactic.

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