The exterior of Lloydminster City Hall. (James Wood, 106.1 The Goat)
Lloydminster City Council has approved the first collective agreement between the City of Lloydminster and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 5182. During the regular meeting of Council on Monday, June 10, Council voted to ratify the agreement, which encompasses nine full-time positions and up to 40 paid on-call positions. Before May 2018, the Lloydminster Fire Department operated under a volunteer-based model with four full-time staff members. Mayor Gerald Aalbers is happy to see the agreement move forward after productive negotiations.
“It’s a bit of a change from where we’ve went,” says Aalbers. “From a volunteer fire department, to now paid on-call fire fighters. It is a change, but now we have an agreement and it’s the best way to move forward. It’s great to see it ratified by both side.”
“Representatives from City Administration and the IAFF have worked diligently over the past several months to develop a clear and fair agreement that aligns with agreements reached in other municipalities of comparable populations within Alberta and Saskatchewan,” said Mayor Gerald Aalbers. “Quality fire protection is essential for any community and through this agreement, we are ensuring a continued high standard of protection for Lloydminster residents and businesses.”
Highlights of the agreement include a 44-month term that’s retroactive to May 14, 2018. It also includes annual increases of 2 per cent and standards for renumeration, benefits and pensions. Aalbers believes the agreement is a good way of ensuring a sustainable fire service is present in the city.
“We take protective services very seriously. It’s something that people expect; they’re going to call, and somebody is going to come and put out the fire, make a rescue or do whatever is required. It’s certainly important that we have something sustainable process and a department going forward.”
The IAFF Local 5182 met with their membership on Wednesday, June 5, and received support for the collective agreement. Don Schille, President of the Lloydminster Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 5182, affirms the agreement is a great step forward with the city.
“The IAFF appreciates the positive and productive relationship with the City of Lloydminster through our negotiations,” said Schille. “We are pleased to have delivered an agreement that enhances the safety, wellbeing and workplace culture for the men and women who so proudly serve the Lloydminster Fire Department.”
With the agreement ratified by both parties, the City of Lloydminster will examine further operational requirements through a Fire Services Master Plan. This will be completed over the coming months.