The City of Port Coquitlam and its firefighters are moving towards labour peace. Council recently approved a memorandum of agreement between the city and Local 1941 of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) that renews the collective agreement up to Dec. 31, 2011.
The agreement now sets the stage for negotiations to begin on a more current agreement. The deal includes a wage settlement totalling 5.5 per cent, along with negotiated improvements for both parties.
"Our firefighters provide a valuable service to our residents and businesses in Port Coquitlam," Mayor Greg Moore said in a press release. "We are pleased to have this agreement complete and we look forward to starting negotiations on the current agreement."
According to a press release from the city, improvements in benefits for the firefighters include 10th-year rate increases, pension changes, improved insurance for birth mothers, and the addition of a Family Day statutory holiday in exchange for the reduction of one vacation day.
Improvements for the city include a reduction to the clothing allowance, a new two-step graduated rate of pay for captains, payment of straight time, rather than overtime, for certain activities, and health/dental coverage changes.
"The local is pleased to be working under a new collective agreement," said Nick Zupan, president of the union local representing the firefighters. "It was a lengthy process but we feel the time was well spent, as the deal is a benefit to our members, the city and most importantly the citizens of Port Coquitlam.
We look forward to a continued healthy and productive working relationship."