The City of Saint John is pleased to announce that it has reached a new Collective Agreement with Saint John Firefighters Association IAFF Local 771. The new four-year agreement ensures continued quality service to the City, strengthens the City’s financial sustainability, contributes to operational efficiencies, and provides fair compensation to firefighters.
“The service our courageous firefighters provide to the City is of the utmost importance and the respect we have for them as first responders can’t be overstated,” says Saint John Mayor Donna Reardon. “We are grateful to everyone involved in working to put this new agreement in place. The agreement ensures the appropriate fire service response is available when required by residents and the compensation is fair to firefighters for the work they do.”
In a special meeting on Monday, July 4, Saint John Common Council voted unanimously in favour of the Collective Agreement. On Wednesday, July 6, 2022, IAFF Local 771 notified City representatives that Union membership had voted in favour of the agreement, concluding the ratification process by both parties. The new Collective Agreement extends back to January 1, 2020 and continues through December 31, 2023. The previous contract between the two parties expired on December 31, 2019.
Among several items negotiated within the agreement is a wage increase for firefighters that, cumulative over the duration of the four years, falls within the City of Saint John Wage Escalation Policy. Firefighters will receive a 2.1 per cent wage increase in each of the four years of the contract, retroactive to January 1, 2020. Other changes to the agreement include return-to-work process enhancements and changes to long-term disability.
Modest wage increases, combined with the reduction in the size of the Fire Department in 2020, ensure that the City has financially sustainable fire prevention and response capabilities moving forward. The new Collective Agreement helps to establish a critical foundation for the development of the Fire Department’s 15-year strategic plan, which will be presented to Common Council before the end of 2022.
This Collective Agreement is an important aspect of the City’s ongoing efforts for excellence in service delivery at affordable costs.