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February 12, 2004
Toronto City Council Ratifies Collective Agreement with Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association, Local 3888
  
At its meeting today, members of Toronto City Council voted to ratify a
collective agreement negotiated with the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters'
Association (TPFFA), Local 3888.

The new collective agreement is for a five-year term from January 1, 2002 to
December 31, 2006 and was negotiated between September and December 2003. TPFFA
members ratified the agreement on January 22.

The costs of the new agreement with Local 3888 are attributable to three main
areas - a salary grid based on years of service, wages, increased benefits and
other improvements. The agreement includes a wage increase of 3.5 per cent in
2002, 2003 and 2004, and a salary grid based on years of service to be
implemented over two years - 2004 and 2005. Wage increases for 2002 and 2003
have already been paid out in accordance with direction from City Council in
September 2003.

Salary, service/recognition pay and improved benefits for 2004 total
$13,917,557. There will be negotiations for wages only in 2005 and 2006. A
deferred implementation schedule for service/recognition pay was negotiated,
deferring the financial impact to the City. The active member benefit plan has
been brought more in line with the benefit plans of other City employees.
Pre-age 65 retiree benefit plans will be harmonized effective January 2006.

The trend in Ontario is for parity between police and fire services in their
jurisdiction. The Teplitsky Board of Arbitration decision in August 2003
confirmed the parity principle when it awarded the Toronto Police Constable
rate to the Toronto First Class Fire Fighter rate, effective January 2001.

A growing number of police and some fire services across Ontario are adopting
the Toronto Police Service salary grid based on years of service
(service/recognition pay) negotiated in 2002 or a variation of that grid that
has a similar effect. In the face of that settlement and the resulting similar
trend across the province, negotiations with the TPFFA focused on reaching a
settlement that balanced the objectives and needs of both the City and the
TPFFA.

The City's objectives for this round of bargaining with the TPFFA were to
negotiate a timely and reasonable settlement without resorting to arbitration,
to successfully introduce interest based bargaining in its relations with its
bargaining agents and to reach an agreement based on that approach. Those
objectives have been met in this collective agreement.

Throughout 2003, the City of Toronto's Corporate Employee and Labour Relations
team focused on moving the City's labour relations environment to an
interest-based bargaining approach. In keeping with this direction, in
September 2003 City Council directed that Chief William Stewart work to improve
labour relations within Toronto Fire Service (TFS).

The City of Toronto and the TPFFA share a mutual goal to have the best fire
service in North America. Negotiated improvements for station transfers,
relieving, vacation scheduling and attendance management will help to respond
to staffing issues. The TFS will be better able to optimize service coverage
across the City, reduce station relieving, and minimize the number of trucks
taken out of service.

The agreement represents a significant change and improvement in
labour/management relations at the City of Toronto. The settlement embraces
joint problem solving, recognizes the needs of the parties and allows them to
continue to build on their relationship within a stable collective agreement.

Media contacts:
Chief William Stewart, Toronto Fire Service, 416-338-9051;
Bill Adams, Director, Corporate Employee and Labour Relations,
416-392-5006;
Jayne Allan, Corporate Employee & Labour Relations, 416-392-0617



 

 

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