Fire Fighting in Canada

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Tentative deal could end 10 month strike at St. John’s airport

July 9, 2013, St. John's – The St. John's International Airport Authority says it has reached a tentative contract agreement with unionized maintenance workers, including firefighters, potentially ending a 10-month strike.

July 9, 2013
By The Canadian Press

July 9, 2013, St. John's – The St. John's International Airport Authority says it has reached a tentative contract agreement with unionized maintenance workers, including firefighters, potentially ending a 10-month strike.

The tentative agreement must first be ratified by the authority and members of Local 90916 of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees.

The authority says details of the agreement won't be released until the ratification process is complete.

The strike started in September when about 60 firefighters, maintenance and support staff walked off the job.

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The workers were pushing for wage parity with their counterparts at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

Earlier this year, airport authority CEO Keith Collins said the union was taking an inflexible approach by demanding a wage hike of 56 per cent over four years, with 34 per cent of that in the first year retroactive to 2009.

Those figures were not disputed by the union.

The authority has said it offered an average wage increase of almost 34 per cent over seven years, retroactive to 2009.

A member of the union's bargaining committee has said striking workers earn salaries ranging from $18 an hour to $32 an hour. For firefighters, the wage is about $56,000 a year at the St. John's airport, compared to about $74,000 a year at the Halifax airport.