Burlington, Ont. On July 16, 2019, the City of Burlington and Burlington Professional Firefighters Association signed a five-year contract with the City of Burlington and Burlington Professional Firefighters Association on Monday, July 15, 2019. The freely negotiated agreement provides for an average monetary increase of 1.75% per year over a five-year period and provides for performance improvements equivalent to those of comparable municipalities. Some negotiated benefits and wage savings are included in the agreement to offset the cost of performance improvement. “We are very pleased to have been able to freely negotiate the contract without resorting to the arbitration system. The discussions were professional, respectful and in-depth, reflecting the positive working relationships that exist within the department. It is comparable to the settlements in other communities, so I think the agreement is fair and reasonable for both firefighters and taxpayers. With the contract running until 31 December 2022, it also offers us budgetary security through the mandate of this Council. – David Lazenby, Burlington Fire Chief The Burlington Fire Department offers a wide range of public safety programs and services to support the Burlington community. Firefighters care for more than 170,000 clients in a combined urban and rural area and provide emergency measures, fire protection services, including public education programs, inspections and enforcement measures. Services include fire safety inspection and implementation, public education, emergency measures, communications (by shipment), emergency prevention and outdoor fire protection authorizations, as well as a large number of fire safety and food safety education programs. 1:75% of the 5-year pay increase seems like a good deal for taxpayers, but what is the cost of improving benefits.
You need to know the total cost of compensation. Full disclosure! Nevertheless, do you think that the Council should consider the regional consolidation of the fire brigades in order to achieve possible cost savings. The same comment applies to Hydro`s services. If the police, water and paramedic services operate well under a regional banner, why can`t these other common services be combined? This is especially true when firefighters and paramedics overlap and the number of fires in attendance decreases. I am very pleased that the City of Burlington and the Burlington Professional Firefighters Association have been able to reach a five-year agreement that is fair to all parties and our taxpayers. This is the first time in 20 years that there has been unanimous support from the Council and, for the first time recently, there has been a negotiated settlement in good faith with respect to a costly, time-consuming and lengthy arbitration process. Each side gave a little to find an agreement. It`s well done for everyone involved. Under this collective agreement, 197 Burlington Fire Department employees are represented by IAFF 1552.
The last agreement expired on 31 December 2017 and this new five-year agreement will enter into force from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2022. Our service provider manages the City of Burlington`s health, dentistry, life insurance and long-term plans. The city has four unions and a group of non-unionized workers. The benefits for each group of employees are unique to meet the needs of a diverse workforce. Benefits are available to all full-time and part-time workers who work an average of 28 hours per week. The city pays 100% of the premiums, including family coverage. An important aspect of retirement planning is a financially guaranteed retirement plan. The City of Burlington is a member of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Savings (OMERS).