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Firefighter Contract Arbitration Award Handed Down

July 22, 2013 – Provincial Arbitrator Steven Raymond issued an Interest Arbitration Award for the City of Thunder Bay and the Thunder Bay Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 193 (TBPFFA), which effectively again gives Thunder Bay Firefighters wage parity with City Police.

Firefighters have been without a contract for the past two years. The binding Award results in a 2.75% – 3.1 % annual wage increase, and covers the period from Jan. 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2014.

“Recent arbitration processes have been lengthy involving significant retroactive costs,” said City Manager Tim Commisso. “We accept that this award provides parity and we are pleased we can now move forward with a new contract with our professional Firefighters until the end of 2014.”

The decision adds to the increasing cost of providing tax-supported emergency services and reinforces the need to address this fiscal challenge on a community and Province-wide basis. The City is working closely with the Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) and other organizations to address the issues related to Province-wide arbitration processes and the cost related to municipal emergency services. Earlier this year, AMO called on all three political parties to work together to make meaningful improvements to the Province’s Interest Arbitration System, including:

  • Streamlining the process and creating a 12-month timeline for completion,
  • Clear, measurable criteria for evaluating the fiscal health of a community, and
  • Requiring that arbitrators provide written explanation of how the fiscal health of a community was considered.

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Contact:        Tim Commisso, City Manager, 625-2224