Firefighters, municipality reach agreement 

Whistler firefighters approved a contract with the municipality in a vote May 31 and Whistler council ratified the contract on Monday.

"We’re very pleased and look forward to working co-operatively with the municipality to continue to provide the best fire rescue services for Whistler," spokesperson Steve Doyle said.

"It was an interesting process and longer than I expected, but at the end of the day we’ve got a deal from which both parties can move forward in a positive manner," said Bill Barratt, municipal general manager of community services.

The contract is a first for the Whistler firefighters as members of the International Association of Firefighters. It was more than two years ago that the B.C. Labour Relations Board granted Whistler’s full-time firefighters certification. Prior to that Whistler had the only non-unionized full-time fire department in the province.

Doyle said contract negotiations took nearly two years because both sides were involved in other negotiations elsewhere and co-ordinating meeting dates was difficult. A mediator was brought in for the last four meetings to help the parties conclude the agreement.

The term of the contract and the rate of pay for Whistler firefighters will be the same as in the Vancouver Fire Department collective agreement, once those negotiations are completed.


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