The Fernie Fire Department’s former home. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

The Fernie Fire Department’s former home. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Fernie signs new collective agreement with firefighter union

Career firefighters in Fernie will be getting 2.5 percent wage increase for three years

The City of Fernie has signed a new collective agreement with the union representing it’s eight career firefighters.

The four-year contract between the City of Fernie and the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF), Local 2827, provides the career firefighters with improved benefits, and includes wage increases of 2.5 percent per year for the first three years, and will be bench-marked to averages of comparable municipalities for the fourth year.

The agreement is retroactive, and is in effect from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2023.

According to a release from the city, the new agreement includes a pilot schedule that will see two-person platoons on the floor at all times in order to reduce response times, improve safety conditions for crews and reduce overtime costs.

President of the IAFF Local 2827, Troy MacLachlan said the pilot program was plus for the community.

“The opportunity to pilot a new program that will see our career firefighters working in pairs around the clock will be a major improvement to our emergency response program and the well-being of our team.” said MacLachlan.

For the 2021 financial year, the city’s eight career firefighters earned $883,395 between them, with then-acting fire chief, Brendan Morgan topping the city’s payroll as the highest-paid public servant in Fernie and the Elk Valley.

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