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Win for paramedics

THE union representing Winnipeg's paramedics has wound up on the winning side of a wage dispute with the City of Winnipeg.

An arbitrator has awarded members of the Manitoba Government and General Employees Union Local 911 retroactive wage increases of 4.5 per cent for both 2011 and 2012 and a further hike of 3.75 per cent this year, the MGEU announced in a statement.

The city and the union went to arbitration after failing to agree on a contract. Paramedics are entitled to arbitration because they cannot strike.

MGEU 911 received no wage increase whatsoever in 2010. The union's current contract expires in February 2014.

A spokeswoman for the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service said finance officials have yet to calculate how the wage increases will impact the city's operating budget.

Meet the new tax boss

THE City of Winnipeg has promoted its former deputy assessor into the role of the city's top taxman.

Mel Chambers, a 17-year veteran of the public service, is the new head of the city's assessment and taxation department, chief administrative officer Phil Sheegl announced in an email to city department directors and members of council.

Chambers, the former deputy city assessor, was the logical choice to succeed Nelson Karpa, who left for the City of Calgary in early January. Prior to working for assessment and taxation, Chambers worked for the city's finance department and the now-defunct ombudsman's office. He also worked for the province and the federal human rights commission.

He has a masters of public administration from the University of Manitoba and University of Winnipeg and an arts degree from the U of M.

-- Bartley Kives

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 2, 2013 A7

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