News » Whistler

firefighters go union

Whistler’s 12 full-time firefighters have applied to the Labour Relations Board of B.C. for certification with the International Association of Fire Fighters. The Whistler Fire Department has previously been the only professional non-union operation in B.C. The decision to form an association with the IAFF is based on the desire to enter into a collective agreement with the RMOW for the purpose of formulating standards and expectations for the delivery of service to the municipality. Municipal administrator, Jim Godfrey, says the municipality is looking forward to continuing to work closely with the fire department. The Whistler Professional Fire Fighters Association is local 3944 of the IAFF. As an international organization, the IAFF is in place to oversee the needs of its member organizations as well as providing information and research on topics relating to fire fighter education, health and safety, equipment standards and other aspects associated with employee well-being. One firefighter, who refused to be named, said that it felt like they had been walking on broken glass, but that the unionization wouldn’t affect his job performance. "All members of the Whistler Fire Department are committed to providing the best fire protection and rescue services possible," reads an information release issued by the firefighters. "Our positive relationship with senior department officials, the RMOW and our public and private sector partners should ensure a smooth transition. We see our affiliation with the IAFF as a part of the natural progression in the developing of our members, our association with the resort municipality and the growth of our department."