Media Release - City and Firefighters Association Sign Six-Year Agreement

Media Release - City and Firefighters Association Sign Six-Year Agreement

June 27, 2016

Media Release

City and Firefighters Association Sign Six-Year Collective Agreement 


A new collective agreement that will take the City of Port Alberni through 2019 has been reached between the municipality and the union representing firefighter employees. 

The City and the Port Alberni Professional Fire Fighters Association (PAPFFA) announced that they have reached a six-year contract, retroactive to 2014. The new agreement is in effect from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2019. 

The new agreement provides for a 3.95% wage increase in 2014 and 2.5% increase in each of the remaining years.  As the City and union have agreed to wage parity with firefighters in Powell River and Campbell River, the 3.95% wage increase in 2014 comes as a result of a significant increase in Powell River that brought firefighter salaries in that community up to the same level as Campbell River and many other BC municipalities.          

Under the Fire and Police Services Collective Bargaining Act, firefighters are not allowed to strike as they are deemed essential services. The Act requires that if a negotiated agreement cannot be reached between the parties, it is settled via third party arbitration. This process has consistently led to settlements across the province that have provided firefighters with wage parity with their counterparts. 

As a result of this, the City has made concerted efforts to avoid a costly arbitration process despite concerns regarding the wage settlements being higher than other municipal unionized employees.  The pay parity provisions with the City’s firefighters ultimately means that the wage increases remain subject to negotiated settlements throughout the province. 

“Fire services are critical for the health, safety and security of our entire community,” stated Mayor Mike Ruttan.  “We greatly value our firefighters and are pleased that a settlement has been reached.”

The collective agreement also provides for minor benefit improvements consistent with other municipal employees and an increase in the rate paid to 10th-year firefighters. The City maintained flexible scheduling provisions that ensure adequate staffing levels while reducing potential overtime costs.     

"Our members are committed to providing the City of Port Alberni with a highly trained, professional fire service,” stated Travis Cross, President, PAPFFA.  “Having our new Collective Agreement defined until the end of 2019 gives stability and clarity for both our Association and the City.”


For more information:

Mayor Mike Ruttan
City of Port Alberni


Tim Pley, Acting City Manager/Fire Chief
City of Port Alberni