Saskatchewan firefighters extinguish arbitration, sign deal with city

City council still at the bargaining table with other civic workers

Firefighters in Regina are celebrating after signing a $4 million deal with their city.

The collective agreement for about 285 members of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 181 was approved by city councillors on Aug. 14. The bargaining unit includes mostly firefighters, as well as civilian employees working in dispatch, training, public education and inspections. As part of the deal, firefighters will receive a total wage increase of 9.2 per cent over the course of the agreement, which runs from 2013 to 2015, including retroactive pay. Combined with improvements to benefits, the agreement will set the City of Regina back $4 million, according to the city manager’s office.

Glen Davies, city manager, said the two parties were able to settle the agreement without arbitration, something the city has not needed since 2000. But because the city has outstanding contracts to settle with all five of its civic bargaining units (all of which expired on Dec. 31, 2012), the negotiations are not over.

“The city values its employees and is committed to working collaboratively to reach fair agreements. Our firefighters receive a competitive compensation package. We will continue to build on the positive and productive tone established during negotiations with all of our bargaining units,” Davies said.

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