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This article was published 26/4/2017 (1889 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A new four-year deal for Winnipeg firefighters approved by city council Wednesday is being described by both sides as a win for everyone.
"It's good for the City of Winnipeg, good for the firefighters and good for the citizens of Winnipeg," said United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg president Alex Forrest.
The firefighters and paramedics' collective agreement expired Dec. 24. Rather than going to arbitration scheduled for this fall, the two sides came up with the deal, which sees the firefighters get wage increases of 1.8 per cent on Dec. 24 of this year, with two per cent increases in the following three years.
"We have deferred wage increases until the end of each year," said Forrest.
The contract is in line with the city's labour relations strategy in making sure wage increases are sustainable, said finance committee chairman Coun. Scott Gillingham.
"The wage increases are in line with the annual rate of inflation," said Gillingham. Salary increases in the previous three-year deal totalled 10.25 per cent, exceeding the Manitoba Consumer Price Index by 5.5 per cent over the term of the collective agreement.
The consumer price index is projected to increase by two per cent this year, 2.2 per cent in 2018 and 2.2 per cent in 2019. The latest contract for the city's firefighters and paramedics "strikes a balance," said Gillingham.
"We are sending the message we want to be part of the solution," said Forrest with the union. The four-year deal avoids arbitration and will save the city and the union hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, he told council.
"The settlement recognizes and respects the incredibly important efforts of firefighters," said Mayor Brian Bowman. "When Winnipeggers are running away from danger, they're running into it to keep us safe," he said. Their annual pay increase are in line with cost of living increases and more sustainable.
After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.