For the first time in nearly three years, Vernon’s firefighters have a new contract.
The city and Local 1517 of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) have agreed on a four-year collective bargaining agreement, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2016, the day after the last contract between the two sides officially expired.
“Our administration and the local executive, during negotiations, were respectful; the talks were relatively quick and we came to an agreement so we could get on with supporting our firefighters under the new collective agreement,” said city chief administrator Will Pearce.
The four-year term, which expires Dec. 31, 2019, includes a wage increment of 2.5 per cent on Jan. 1 of each year of the deal, retro to 2016.
“We’ve estimated what a potential settlement could be, and we’ve reserved those dollars so taxpayers won’t see a big hit because we’ve put those dollars aside,” said Pearce.
The deal affects 28 members of Local 1517, the majority of which voted in favour of ratification.
“I think it’s a good, fair deal for the members,” said Doug Imrich, president of IAFF Local 1517. “It’s also good for the city and the residents.”