Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Deal in firefighters' OT

Vacation bonus scrapped; unspecified new hiring

  • Print

A deal has been reached with the local firefighters union to reduce the fire department's overtime costs.

Mayor Sam Katz said the president of the firefighters union has agreed to waive the overtime provisions in the collective agreement for members called back to duty from vacation. In exchange, the fire department will hire an unspecified number of firefighters and reverse a decision to reduce the number of firefighters at two stations.

No snow-clearing fee

WINNIPEG homeowners will not be paying an extra surcharge for snow-clearing next year.

That controversial recommendation from a consultant was dropped by the executive policy committee Wednesday.

Mayor Sam Katz said after his executive policy committee endorsed the KPMG report, with some amendments, it will go to council and then likely be referred to the public works committee for further review.

Katz said all the recommendations will be reviewed, including altering local street snow-clearing.

The surcharge was killed by a unanimous vote.

"Let's call that a great first step on both sides," Katz told reporters during his weekly Wednesday session with media.

Alex Forrest, president of the United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg, said members are being notified of the OT change today.

Forrest said the OT concession is a temporary one that will be revoked by the union when the OT issue has been resolved.

The concession was prompted by firefighters, Forrest said.

"We had many firefighters come forward and said they'd work straight time during vacation," Forrest said. "We want to put our money where our mouths are."

Forrest said a plan will be put in place where volunteers from those on vacation will be sought to fill out the following week's staffing needs.

Anyone who agrees to go back to work will be paid straight time, instead of the double-OT rate and will not recover the lost vacation week.

Katz said the move alone will not resolve the department's $5-million overtime bill this year but said it will be part of the solution.

"That's not a silver bullet," Katz said. "I think there could still be more to this equation."

The firefighters union and acting fire chief Bill Clark got into a heated war of words last month when the department proposed reducing the number of firefighters at two stations -- stations that receive the fewest calls -- as an attempt to reduce a huge OT bill this year.

The firefighters union slammed the cutback, saying it would jeopardize firefighter and public safety and delay response times.

The union claimed the OT bill was caused by the department not filling a large number of vacancies and being unable to adequately staff all fire stations every shift.

Forrest said there is a commitment to hire more firefighters now and more next year.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 10, 2013 B3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Cheapskate: Cheap summer weekends

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Ruth Bonneville Winnipeg Free Press January 18, 2011 Local Standup -
  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100527-Winnipeg Free Press THe Provencher Foot Bridge is lit up

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Which of Manitoba's new landlord-tenant rules are you looking forward to most?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google