The municipality and its 21 unionized firefighters have taken the first step in reaching a contract agreement, giving the nod to retroactive wage increases for 2011.
The two sides — the Resort Municipality of Whistler and the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF), Local 3944 — reached an agreement on the 2011 wage settlement last week. The wage increases are: 1.25 per cent effective Jan. 1, 2011; 1.25 per cent effective July 1, 2011, and .33 per cent effective Dec. 31, 2011.
"We settled on 2011 because there had been a wage settlement pattern established in the Lower Mainland with the IAFF Locals," said municipal CAO Mike Furey.
"We haven't engaged in any dialogue for 2012 onward."
The wage settlement was ratified by the IAFF membership June 2 and by council during its closed meeting June 3. Bargaining will resume after the Whistler Fire Service review is completed in the fall.
"I'm feeling that we have really good relations with the fire service and the RMOW," said Furey. "We want to, and I know that the fire union is really interested in proceeding in partnership to move to the next round of negotiations, and we'll both be informed by the fire service review and hopefully that allows us to reach a good agreement that works for the community and for the union."