March 27, 2014 - 4:24 PM
KAMLOOPS — Delays in getting to a contract agreement mean the new four-year contract the city and the firefighters union just signed will expire at the end of this year.
The previous collective agreement expired in December 2010 and the new contract provides for wage increases beginning January 2011. The initial wage increase sits at 1.25 per cent with a subsequent 1.25 per cent effective July 1, 2011 and then a 0.5 per cent increase on Jan. 1, 2013. Wage increases for 2012, 2013 and 2014 will be the average of the increases agreed to by the majority of the 15 Lower Mainland municipality agreements.
“I am very pleased that we were able to reach a settlement with our firefighters,” Kamloops Fire Chief Dale McLean says. “Everyone within Kamloops Fire Rescue has common goals and objectives in providing the best service possible.”
The negotiations also included a number of operational efficiencies and improvements to reduce contract costs, including no benefit enhancements, increase of flex firefighters and improved uniform replacement system.
Arbitration was scheduled for April and likely would have resulted in an agreement that would still have been two or three years in arrears.
“We are encouraged by administration’s willingness to discuss our business objectively. It was important to everyone that our service be as efficient as possible.” Kris Krutop, IAFF Local 913 President, stated in a press release. “Both parties worked diligently to analyze our business and to carefully consider the people that we proudly serve.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014