Swift Current Firefighters sign new contract with City
The City of Swift Current has reached a new five-year agreement with members of the Swift Current Fire Department to provide fire services through to 2023.
Swift Current City Council approved a deal with members of IAFF Local 1318 which includes a two per cent a year average total increase. The five year contract is the longest IAFF contract in Saskatchewan to date. The first and fifth years of the contract carry 2.25 per cent wage hikes, with two per cent increases in the middle three years of the deal.
Councillor Ryan Plewis said it was positive to negotiate a new agreement before the conclusion of their existing agreement. Their current five year deal was scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, but they completed a 14-day negotiation on October 29.
“This is just a really outstanding example of the relationship that you guys have been able to build over the course of the last few years,” Plewis said of the negotiating committees. “I’m just really impressed and really happy with the agreement that we have. I think it’s mutually beneficial of course, and it’s going to lead us to some really great stability for the department and for the City moving right through the end of 2023.”
During negotiations the two sides agreed a Lieutenant position would be created to replace the existing role of Acting Captain, as the change would be beneficial to the crews. This position will be funded though an adjustment to the wage rates for future employees.
The contract also makes changes to their annual vacation allocations. Starting in 2019, members have a standard three weeks of holidays after a year of employment, four weeks after nine years of services, five weeks following 18 years of employment, and six weeks for employees with 28 years in the department. Over the contract there will be annual adjustments to the service years requirements, and by 2023, fire fighters will earn four weeks of holidays after six years of service, five weeks after 13 years, and six weeks with 22 years of employment.
Acting Fire Chief Ryan Hunter noted Swift Current has had a longer average term of service because of the stability in the department. They are currently recruiting for one full time position, as a recent hire has left to take a job in his home community.
“I’m very happy that we have stable staff that stays a long time. I’d say eight to 10 years is easily the average.”
Acting Fire Chief Hunter also provided an update to Council on Fire Chief Darren Mcclelland who is undergoing cancer treatments in Mexico.
“He’s doing very, very well. He’s very happy with his outcome that he’s receiving down there, and he can’t wait to get back.”
Optical Image in Swift Current held a Bikes and Beers bike-a-thon Beer Tasting Night on November 15 with funds raised during the evening in support of Swift Current Fire Chief Darren Mcclelland who is currently undergoing cancer treatments in Mexico. The evening was a collaborative effort between Optical Image, Black Bridge Brewery and Infinity Fitness.