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Coquitlam Firefighters Collective Agreement

“Particularly when it comes to firefighters and their union, they are bound by contract and tied to the International Association of Firefighters at the provincial and national levels, so they bring that perspective to the table. But at the same time, I always found them reasonable, and [that they] have the best interest of the community in their hearts when they bring ideas to the table. With contracts expiring on December 31, 2019, for both Whistler Fire Service staff and municipal staff (union and other), the Station Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is preparing to negotiate collective agreements with both parties. “It is obvious that an agreed settlement is preferred to an arbitral and binding decision of a third party. We expect a fair and reasonable agreement that fits the trend of our regional colleagues,” MacConnachie said, adding that the Vancouver, New Westminster, Delta, North Vancouver and Richmond division is used as comparable. A total of 325 full-time equivalents require new contracts: twenty-three firefighters, 56 unionized municipal employees (represented by CUPE) and 246 “manuals”. Local unions, which represent Tri-City city city staff and firefighters, will be back at the bargaining table next year to renew their collective agreements. Both CUPE and manual staff come from four-year contracts, which included salary increases of 1.5% in 2016 and 2017 and 2% in 2018 and 2019. The local firefighters` union usually has three members who meet with RMOW representatives to discuss what it wants to improve in a new contract, with the aim of reaching a mutual agreement between the two parties, union representative Al MacConnachie said in an email. The delay in the agreement meant that RMOW had to include the retroactive payment in the new contract. The municipality has set out a plan in its employment contract manual, said Chief Administrative Officer Mike Furey.

Union representatives from Coquitlam and Port Moody Fire did not respond to requests for comment, but PoCo IAFF Local 1941 president Brandon Dougan told Tri-City News that discussions with the city had already begun. It represents 78 unionized employees, including 72 firefighters. With salary costs having the most impact on municipal spending — and Whistler firefighters a large portion (21 firefighters earned more than $75,000 in 2018, according to the 2018 financial reporting) — how does rmow manage those costs? “One aspect that we want to improve with our new [contractual] agreement is one type of funding for PTSD,” he said. The International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) is also negotiating agreement updates in the Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody fire rooms. Their latest agreement, which entered into force on 1 January 2012, was valid for eight years and provided for annual increases of 2.5% per year in each department. “The main aspect is that we`re looking down the continent,” Furey said, adding that the municipalities are comparatively located in North Vancouver, West Vancouver, New Westminster and Coquitlam. To that end, there was no great progress in labor negotiations in those communities at that time, Furey said. “It`s one thing we`re constantly paying attention to, and that`s how we approach the pay slip.

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