Sooke, firefighters sign new four-year deal

Firefighters have approved a new collective agreement with the Sooke District.

Local 4841 of the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) voted unanimously to accept the four-year contract retroactive to January 1, 2020. The contract expires on December 31, 2023.

The four-year agreement provides 2.5 percent in the first and second years and 3 percent in 2022, IAFF president Cam Norris-Jones said in a statement. In 2023, the rate will depend on the percentage increase received by Central Saanich, Salt Spring Island and Squamish Firefighters Union.

The agreement also includes mental health support and resources to improve response time.

“Collective agreements begin to address excessive overtime and support improving the health of our members. Through a proactive and collaborative approach, we collectively improve emergency response to the communities we proudly serve,” Norris Jones said.

Two more firefighters will be employed to provide 24-hour service at Fire Station 1 on Otter Point Road.

The Fire Department’s budget currently compensates qualified staff for on-duty and response to after-hours calls. By 2023, the costs associated with this shift and the overtime associated with emergency calls back after hours will be reallocated to hire additional firefighters.

As part of improving mental health, a new expanded health benefit of $1,000 has been added, which can be expanded to $2,000 if combined with other benefits.

In addition to health benefits, the staffing improvements will “significantly reduce” staff overtime and improve work-life balance for firefighters, Norris-Jones said.

“We appreciate the tremendous work the firefighters are doing to serve the community. Working together to ensure we have an agreement that promotes positive cultural and mental health support to effectively deliver care and protect Sooke’s services,” Mayor Maja Tait said in a statement.

[email protected]
like us Facebook and follow us Twitter

SookeUnion Wage Deals West Bank

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *