The City and the union representing municipal firefighters have signed a new collective agreement with terms effective Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2023.
The agreement was ratified this week by by both city council and members of International Association of Firefighters Local 1253, which consists of 25 firefighters and 10 auxiliaries.
The new agreement includes wage increases equivalent to standard rates for B.C. firefighters, as well as a pay adjustment for high seniority staff. The three-year term also ensures stability, according to the city’s top fire official.
“As the employer, I am very happy to have settled on terms with our unionized firefighters,” said Chief Scott Driver, with Cranbrook Fire & Emergency Services. “We have an extremely dedicated group of individuals protecting our citizens, and with the stability of this collective agreement they can remain focused on the important work in front of them as we move into fire season.”
City firefighters provide a variety of fire suppression, emergency and first responder services year-round, including ice, confined space rescue and technician level hazardous materials.
“We see this settlement as mutually beneficial to the city and our members, and we are happy to have reached an agreement with the city,” said Paul Relkoff, President of the Cranbrook Professional Firefighters Association Local 1253.
In addition to the City of Cranbrook, municipal firefighters also provide services to ʔaq’am and RDEK Area C residents and businesses, which collectively generates $1.1 million in fees.
“We are very pleased to ratify this agreement. We are fortunate to have a very professional and dedicated group of individuals in our fire department, who take a keen interest in serving the community both on and off the job,” said Mayor Lee Pratt. “This dedication and interest was very clearly portrayed during all the negotiation meetings. We recognize the outstanding relationship in place between the City and our firefighters.”