North Bay City Council has approved a recently agreed to contract between the city and the North Bay Professional Fire Fighters Association.

The deal covers 6 years in total beginning retroactive to January of 2015 to December of next year.

Under the contract the 76 firefighters receive a 10 % wage hike over the length of the deal.

City Councillor Mac Bain says for the first time in 20 years an arbitrator hasn’t ruled on a contract between the two sides.

“Having both sides come to the table and negotiate in good faith without dealing with an arbitrator is very beneficial,” he says.

North Bay Fire Chief Jason Whiteley says they have a 17 year veteran firefighter for example who has never worked in a current contract.

“You’re always in perpetual arbitration or negotiations. This will be a real morale booster for the guys. It shows them that we’re here and we’re going to treat our employees fairly,” Whiteley says.

Bain says the agreement comes out less than they budgeted for with two % increases each of the first four years and one percent each of the last two years.

“The city had budgted 3 % so there will be a surplus coming back,” he says.

Whiteley says not having a arbitrator settle things is big news.

“No one wins in arbitration. It is someone else settling your problems. The association came to the table and so did we. We’ve got a very good contract that is fair to both sides,” he says.

Filed under: agreement, city-council, firefighters