The SIM will have to repay $ 2.2 million to the firefighters union

Le SIM devra rembourser 2,2 millions au syndicat des pompiers

Photo: Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir
The increase of injuries among fire fighters in 2018 is attributable to the increase in the number of major fires requiring five alerts in the first three months of the year, according to the director of SIM.

The Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal (SIM) will be required to repay 2,2 millionsde dollars to the Association of Montreal fire department (APM) after the union had filed a grievance concerning the removal of two vehicles from the fleet last year.

In 2017, the administration of ex-mayor Coderre thought of being able to save 3 million by removing permanently the two vehicles off the road, or a start a fire-engine and a truck scale.

Not she took it, because the union filed a grievance, arguing that the decision violated the collective agreement and had a direct effect on the working hours of firefighters. On 3 September, the adjudicator ordered the City of Montreal and the SIM to reimburse the fire department the loss of salary.

“We will have to repay $ 2.2 million in overtime in the union, and this, repeatedly, year after year, since the two vehicles are no longer in the fleet and are therefore considered to be cut on a daily basis “, explained the director of SIM, Bruno Lachance, in front of the finance committee Friday.

If the withdrawal of these two vehicles has no impact on the service and protection of the territory, he melted all the savings, which are now limited to 1 million per year.

At the end of his presentation before the commission, Mr. Lachance said that the case would be part of the issues in the negotiations of collective agreement with the union and did not want to comment further on the case.

Contacted by The Duty, the president of the MPA, Chris Ross, said it could not confirm the amount mentioned by Bruno Lachance nor specify the details of the distribution of this sum to the firefighters. “The decision is quite recent. The employer has not advised of how he was going to implement the decision of the referee and how he would compensate [the firefighters], ” he said.

Work climate

The firefighters ‘ collective agreement has expired since 31 December 2017, and the parties have begun a dialogue, but the actors have changed since a year and a half.

The directors Plant was brought to power in November 2017 and Serge Lamontagne has replaced Alain Marcoux in the general direction of the City. The trade union side, Chris Ross took over from Ronald Martin to the chairmanship of the NPA last July.

Bruno Lachance argues that the working climate has improved a lot in the SIM after decades of working relationships ” extremely tense “. “I think about twenty years, it has been a means of pressure sixteen or seventeen years,” he recounted.

He referred to the “ways to make the union “and the” intimidation ” and “violence” suffered by the executives. These conflicts are a thing of the past, he said : “today, it’s been already a year that we are negotiating and there is no way to pressure the union. “

The president of the MPA, Chris Ross, believes that labour relations are ” positive “. “I have another way of doing things. I’m still convinced that the parties will be able to arrive at a win-win agreement at the bargaining table. But the members have not forgotten the law 15 and the losses in the pension fund of the MESSRS. Marcoux and Coderre. “


Taking stock of the year that is ending, Bruno Lachance reported that the number of injuries among the firefighters had increased from 17.9% in 2018 compared to the previous year.

The number of major fires requiring five alerts is increased from two to seven in the first three months of the year, he said. Some 1,200 firefighters have had to be deployed on the ground and the accidents have been more numerous. “We had a lot of slips and falls. During the winter, it is difficult to control. “

Smaller trucks ?

The Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal (SIM) to examine the possibility of developing smaller vehicles, better adapted to the urban environment. Montreal is already among the north american cities that use smaller vehicles, supported Friday the director of the SIM, Bruno Lachance.

Several canadian and u.s. cities are looking to reduce the size of their trucks and the manufacturers of trucks are working to provide new technologies, he said : “The SIM is a standby market continued to this subject. ”

Mr. Lachance warns, however, that Montreal could never compare to Europe.

“They have vehicles very small, but in a barracks, there may be ten specialized vehicles for each type of intervention. Our built heritage of the barracks, with two garage doors, does not offer this possibility. “

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