Arbitration dates set for City and Guelph firefighters’ contract negotiations

Guelph, Ont., November 19 – The City and the Guelph Professional Firefighters’ Association (GPFFA) will resume contract discussions through interest arbitration next year.

The two arbitration dates—March 10 and October 18, 2016—and the arbitration chair, Mr. Jim Hayes, have now been agreed to by both parties.

“Arbitration is necessary at this point since the City and the GPFFA are unable to agree on what’s affordable for our community and fair to our firefighters,” said the City’s Chief Administrative Officer Ann Pappert. “A mutually agreed to contract is always our preference, and we remain available to meet and negotiate with the GPFFA until arbitration starts.”

In June, the City announced the negotiations were at an impasse at the end of the conciliation process and arbitration is the next step to move negotiations forward.

To reach an agreement through arbitration, the City and the GPFFA will present evidence to an arbitration board, and the board will issue a binding decision.

“The lengthy and expensive arbitration process is riddled with shortcomings; it doesn’t account for what’s affordable for city taxpayers or what other employee groups in the municipality have negotiated in their contracts,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie. “Often what is decided through arbitration for one city is then used to justify the same settlement in another city. The system needs reform, and the Province must act.”

Negotiation updates and information about interest arbitration are available at guelph.ca/gpffa.

For more information

David Godwaldt
General Manager
Human Resources
519-822-1260  extension 2848
david.godwaldt@guelph.ca