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Wildland firefighters have retention problem, not prepared for the season: AUPE

May 27, 2024 
By FFIC Staff


May 27, 2024, Alberta — Wildland firefighters are going into the 2024 wildfire season unprepared, said the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) in a news release.

The AUPE called attention to what they described as a retention and recruitment crisis experienced by the province, with experienced workers moving to other agencies including the government of British Columbia and Parks Canada based on better wages, benefits and working conditions.

The province confirmed in a Global News article that the starting salary for a seasonal firefighter in Alberta is $22.44/hour, and the cap for those in seasonal leadership positions with years of experience is $30.17/hour.

Those same workers can make 22.5 per cent more working for the government of British Columbia or 33.4 per cent more with Parks Canada, while additionally receiving better benefits and access to a pension, AUPE said in their statement.

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AUPE said this has led to more than 50 percent of seasonal Alberta workers not returning for the following year.


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