- Associated Press - Thursday, September 10, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Superior Court judge has ruled that Providence’s firefighters are eligible to use grievance arbitration over the Elorza administration’s changes to their work schedules.

Judge Jeffrey A. Lanphear ruled Thursday that the city has the right to move to three fire platoons from four. But he said compensation, hours and other terms of employment should be resolved through grievance procedures in the city’s labor contract.

Mayor Jorge Elorza said he was excited the judge agreed that moving to three platoons is a management right, though Lanphear’s decision says the union never questioned the city’s ability to make the change.

Elorza said the city is considering whether to appeal.

Paul Doughty, president of Local 799 of the International Association of Firefighters, called the ruling a victory for firefighters.

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