KAWARTHA LAKES: The City and its full-time firefighters ratified a new four-year contract on Thursday, Feb. 18.
“We are happy to have come to a freely negotiated settlement that is fair to both parties,” said Tim Brasier, President of the Kawartha Lakes Professional Firefighters Association. “With such pro-active leadership and Council we are pleased the agreement allows the Municipality to provide the needed service in a cost effective manner while providing the residents with the quality of service they deserve.”
CAO Ron Taylor said the ratification is a great news story.
“This is a great news story for both the City and our full-time firefighters,” said Mr. Taylor. “The firefighters understand our challenges and constraints and we were able to negotiate a contract that addresses their needs, while also being respectful of the City’s needs.”
The City’s full-time firefighters will receive an average 2.2 per cent wage increase annually over the length of the contract. Additionally, the firefighters association has agreed to work with the City on operational changes that will result in no net financial increase to the taxpayer over the course of the contract as a result of the wage enhancements.
“I can’t stress how much I appreciate the work of our firefighters and staff in negotiating this contract,” said Mayor Andy Letham. “We have been successful now in both our Kawartha Lakes Police Service and firefighter contracts, in negotiating deals that are supported and respected by all sides.”
Fire Chief Mark Pankhurst echoed the mayor’s comments noting the tremendous respect between the two sides in negotiating a contract that served everyone’s interests.
“We all came to the table and wanted to be part of a solution to some of the economic challenges we are facing in the City,” said Fire Chief Mark Pankhurst. “The signing of this contract is another component of our overall long-term plan to deliver sustainable fire service excellence across the entire municipality.”
“Everyone was very respectful and worked hard through the entire process recognizing we all needed to do what was right for the community,” the Chief added.
“We look forward to continued service and co-operation, moving forward, to keep the City of Kawartha Lakes a safe place to live and play,” added Kawartha Lakes Professional Firefighters Association Vice President Brian McCuaig.
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