New Brunswick’s municipal leaders represent a wide range of views, experience and political backgrounds. They have come together to propose a discussion on balanced and practical approach to strengthen the process for achieving collective agreements for police and fire personnel across the province.
Fire and police personnel are deemed by legislation in New Brunswick to be essential employees providing essential services for the protection of the community. They do not have the right to withdraw their services to support negotiating positions at the bargaining table with their municipal employers.
“We believe that our employees providing fire and police protection should be fairly compensated through the free collective bargaining process.” stated Mayor Adam Lordon of Miramachi the spokesperson for the group of Cities, Towns and Villages in the province and a member of each for the the Cities of New Brunswick Association, Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick and AFMNB.
“This compensation should provide pay and benefit increases that reflect their responsibilities as well as the economic reality of the province and the City, Town or Village community. The compensation package must also serve the interest of the community as well as support the municipality’s ability to attract and retain qualified firefighters and police.”
Mayor Lordon continued, “We recognize that our Fire and Police are dedicated workers who put their safety on the line for our communities and residents and we are seeking their input to ensure that the sustainability of our Towns, Cities and Villages are not at risk. Fire and police costs have been growing at an unsustainable rate, largely due to the fact that the binding arbitrators who make decisions on the level of compensation are not required to adhere to any formalized criteria to arrive at their decision.”
The City, Town and Village officials expect to meet with their local police and fire protection unions in the near future to discuss options to improve the sustainability and predictability of their services going into the future.