November 2018
Government Introduces Reforms to “Double-Hatters” and Interest Arbitration

2018-11-26 4:42:47 PM

CATEGORIES: Emergency Services

Minister of Labour Laurie Scott today announced two proposals involving fire safety at the 66th Annual General Meeting of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs in Niagara Falls. The proposals would protect “double-hatters” (full-time firefighters who also provide volunteer fire services) and reform the interest arbitration system for firefighters.

Originally proposed in Ontario’s 2018 Fall Economic Statement, the Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act, 2018 (Bill 57), would amend the Fire Protection and Prevention Act to: 

  • Allow municipalities to resist any pressure to dismiss professional firefighters for “double hatting”

  • Ensure that professional firefighters cannot face association penalties for “double hatting”

  • Such protection would be effective November 15, 2018 – the day Bill 57 was introduced

Bill 57 would also amend Ontario’s interest arbitration system for fire services to:

  • Require arbitrators to consider other settlements reached with municipal employees in the same municipality

  • Require arbitrators to consider economic criteria like labour markets, property tax, and local factors affecting that community

  • Allow municipalities or firefighters’ associations to seek written reasons from the arbitrator demonstrating the criteria were considered

  • Introduce single-person arbitration panels 

You can read more about the changes here


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