Volunteer firefighters serving the Town of Midland ratified a new three-year collective agreement providing them with an increase to their honorarium and other improvements.
The 19 firefighters are represented by Eastern Ontario Volunteer Firefighters Association, CLAC Local 920. The union has represented them since April 2006. CLAC represents approximately 750 volunteer firefighters across Ontario.
"The honourarium for a First Class Volunteer Firefighter at expiry was $5322.32," J.D. Alkema, CLAC regional director for the GTA, told MidlandToday.
"The honourarium for a First Class Volunteer Firefighter in the third year of this agreement will be $6066.38."
The new contract includes a $744 increase over three years to the annual honorarium paid to the volunteers. Firefighters are now also covered by 24-hour off-duty insurance coverage by VFIS of Canada. In addition, the agreement includes increased clarity regarding training requirements and additional station wear apparel provided by the employer.
“The union and the employer were both dedicated to the process of securing a settlement that was good for volunteers while still allowing the town to provide cost-effective fire-suppression services,” said Alkema, who negotiated the new agreement on the volunteers behalf.
“The respect that went both ways across the bargaining table was evident and set a very good tone for our discussions. The chance to meet in person late in the process certainly was essential in facilitating the parties in finding common ground on all outstanding issues.”