Firefighters and the City of Kamloops have finally come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement.
The four-year agreement, announced Thursday morning, replaces the previous contract which expired in December of 2010.
The new deal between the City and IAFF, Local 913, expires at the end of this year.
The contract provides for increases of 1.25% (effective Jan 1, 2011), 1.25% (effective July 1, 2011) and 0.5% (effective Jan 1, 2013).
Wage increases for 2012, 2013, and 2014 shall be the average of the percentage increase agreed to by the majority of 15 Lower Mainland municipality IAFF Firefighter Agreements.
There were a number of operational efficiencies and improvements negotiated in the Collective Agreement that helped to reduce contract costs. These negotiations included no benefit enhancements, an increase in the number of flex firefighters allowing for greater flexibility in job responsibilities and an improved uniform replacement system.
The City of Kamloops and IAFF Local 913 were scheduled to proceed to arbitration in April to settle what would have likely been a one- or two-year term, which would have resulted in a Collective Agreement that would have remained two or more years in arrears.
“I am very pleased that we were able to reach a settlement with our firefighters," says Kamloops Fire Chief Dale McLean .
"This is a direct result of the positive working relationship established between Labour and Management. Everyone within Kamloops Fire Rescue has common goals and objectives in providing the best service possible. The negotiations and Collective Agreement outcomes clearly illustrate this commitment.”
Kris Krutop, IAFF Local 913 President, says he was encouraged by the city's willingness to discuss the business objectively.
"This agreement is a result of working in a collaborative fashion focusing on efficiencies and operational improvements to our service delivery. It was important to everyone that our service be as efficient as possible. Both parties worked diligently to analyze our business and to carefully consider the people that we proudly serve," says Krutop.
“We’re pleased that an agreement has been reached and we look forward to a continued positive relationship providing excellent fire services in our community,” added Mayor Peter Milobar.