Firefighters’ battle with Quebec City getting hot

Firefighters’ battle with Quebec City getting hot

Quebec City (Quebec) September 16, 2014 – Last June firefighters for the city of Quebec held a 15 minute demonstration in front of City Hall which, according to the essential services section of the firefighters’ union contract is essentially against the law.

The city claims that during those 15 minutes, the population was deprived of its normal fire and emergency services, contradicting the essential services mandate.

The Firefighters union on the other hand argues that in no way was the protection of the citizens jeopardized, and that if there had been an emergency call during those 15 minutes the call would have been answered in the normal fashion. The argument being that not all the employees took part in the demonstration and that the services were available as usual.

The city replied by stating that the visits made by the fire department to verify smoke detectors etc. in residences was halted during those 15 minutes which is a regular part of the firefighters’ job.

The city docked 26 firefighters 15 minutes off their pay cheques stating that they were not on the job at the time they were demonstrating which is against their collective agreement.

It is the deduction of pay that the union is contesting, and the two parties will be battling it out in court come November.

The firefighters’ union and the city have been battling with each other for several years now over the collective agreement between the two parties and this is only another chapter in the on-going story, which appears to be far from ending.

This latest conflict is tied in with the retirement funds negotiations going on with the municipalities and the Provincial Government concerning the projected law no. 3 which would substantially reduce the city employees’ pension plan.

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