Deadline missed for contract negotiation proposals, says firefighters’ union
WINNIPEG -- The union representing Winnipeg Fire Fighters says the City of Winnipeg has missed a deadline to file proposals for the upcoming round of contract negotiations.
In a letter from the United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg to the mayor, councillors, and WFPS Chief John Lane, the union says because of a missed October 1 deadline to submit proposals, only ones brought forward by the UFFW will be discussed during collective bargaining.
“There is simply a failure by the City to meet its deadlines.” The letter states. “We will not discuss the proposals you (City) sent on October 14, 2020, nor will we be providing you with any counter proposals to them.”
The letter also says if a deal can’t be reached by the end of the year, the union will initiate the arbitration process based on its proposals only.
In 2018, it came to light the city had been covering 60 per cent of UFFW President Alex Forrest’s salary.
City council voted to have that renegotiated out of the collective agreement.
If the city can’t put forward proposals of its own, that directive could be in jeopardy.
In a statement, the UFFW says the letter speaks for itself.
“As per bargaining protocols, we are not allowed to speak on any proposals that is now under Bargaining and the only legal proposals are filed by UFFW,” the union sent in a statement.
The mayor’s office deferred comment saying the city’s corporate communications is in the best position to provide a response.
A spokesperson for the city said it has received notice to bargain from the union.
"Given that proposals have been exchanged between the Parties and that there is a bargaining protocol in place, the City will not comment further," the spokesperson said. "The City is hopeful that a negotiated collective agreement will be reached with the UFFW."
This is not the first time the city may have missed a key deadline on a large file.
In 2017, a $20 million lawsuit over the city’s water treatment plant went down the drain after a court deadline was missed.
The city fired a lawyer over the incident and later settled with her when she sued the city for wrongful dismissal.