Contract Expires For Windsor Firefighters

Firefighters battle blaze at Bonduelle factory in Tecumseh on July 18, 2014. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

It was a particularly difficult contract to reach, and as of 12:01am Thursday, it will expire.

That’s when Windsor firefighters will start working without a contract New Year’s Day, one of a number of employee groups facing contract talks with the City of Windsor in 2015.

In October 2013, an arbitrator ended a bitter eight-and-a-half-year dispute between the city and the Windsor Professional Firefighters Association. The ruling awarded firefighters a 15.1% increase in pay and shortened their work week from 48 to 42 hours.

Mayor Drew Dilkens is optimistic the city can reach a contract this time around without going to arbitration. “It’s a risk for both sides to go to arbitration. It’s a cost,” he says. “My goal will be to be around the table, to have serious discussions, to negotiate and bargain in good faith. But, not ever to lose sight of the fact that taxpayers pay the ultimate bill.”

The city’s police services board also enters contract negotiations with its police officers in 2015.