In response to recent articles, and the editorial published in Wednesday’s Brandon Sun, the City of Brandon is disappointed that once again, the public has been misled regarding labour relations between the city and the Brandon Professional Firefighters/Paramedics Association.
Although both parties agreed to a tentative settlement encompassing seven labour filings, the city strongly disputes the comments attributed to Alex Forrest regarding the details of the settlement. The settlement allowed for these issues to be resolved outside of legal proceedings.
The facts are as follows: Although we had attempted to mediate the ongoing issues in the past, those attempts were unsuccessful. On May 9, president Wade Ritchie contacted the city to initiate further settlement discussions. Those discussions took place over the next four days, with a tentative settlement being reached on Sunday afternoon, May 13.
Both parties worked hard all weekend to come to an agreement that each could support. Three of the BPFFPA executive members have each taken responsibility for their conduct. The city and its representatives have also formally acknowledged errors that contributed to the conflict.
The agreement was not initiated in an attempt to keep anyone off the witness stand, as implied by the Brandon Sun. In fact, both parties were eager to tell their side of the story, as neither side became involved in these disputes because they believed they were doing the wrong thing.
Everyone involved in this issue, and the residents of Brandon, wished to resolve these matters. The city and Local 803 came to an agreement to do exactly that. Both sides made concessions, in an effort to put past issues behind us and move forward in a collaborative and productive manner.
The comments attributed to Alex Forrest of the United Firefighters of Winnipeg, and the inaccurate portrayal of the circumstances by the Brandon Sun, have not helped this situation.
Despite all of this, the city considers this settlement a win-win, and remains committed to having a functional relationship with the local firefighters’ union.
Brandon city manager
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 17, 2012