Union disputes in Pittsburgh over residency requirements for city workers have weakened requirements for police and firefighters to live in the city proper.
A policy brief from the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy detailed the shift away from residency requirements. Pittsburgh voters approved an amendment to the home rule charter in 2013 to require city residency for all municipal workers. However, a union grievance weakened that requirement for firefighters.
After binding arbitration and a lawsuit, the city of Pittsburgh and the firefighters’ union reached a memorandum of understanding that effectively exempts firefighters from the city residency requirement. Instead, applicants “will be granted preference points” if they live within city limits, similar to existing policies for military veterans or graduates of the city’s firefighter program.