Excerpts from wandtv.com:

The City of Mattoon is suing the Mattoon Firefighters Local 691 over an award that gives them the option to remove the ambulances from the City of Mattoon and to impact bargain the result of the award.  The city says the union is not complying with the arbitration, because an agreement has not been reached on the removal of the ambulances.

The union has been negotiating with the city of the successor contract since January.  The union thinks the best option is for the fire department to remain in the ambulance service and offered to reduce staff and cut department expenses to meet the city council’s monetary goals.

The city has said reducing manpower is the only way to achieve their goals. The parties have met a dozen times trying to come up with the best solution.

A separate Arbitration award was issued in April which required the city to bring the staffing level up to 30 and maintain it there in a manner consistent with the contract. Since May of last year, the city has reduced staffing to 22 members. The union says this is in direct violation of their contract.