Sudbury

Decision to terminate firefighters rests on city management, not council, says Sudbury mayor

'Let me be clear, this was not a decision of Council, but instead of management at the City,' mayor says

CBC News

October 05, 2017

Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger penned a letter to the community today, saying any discussion council had about the volunteer firefighters terminated recently was meant to be private. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada )

For the second day in a row, Sudbury mayor Brian Bigger has issued a statement on the reprimanding and firing of 11 volunteer firefighters.

The Sudbury Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC,) the union representing the firefighters, said three were dismissed and eight disciplined over comments they made about a plan to overhaul fire services.

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City council held a closed-door meeting earlier this week to discuss the issue.

Bigger then issued a statement saying he would be staying mum on details.

But in a letter issued today, Bigger said he wants to make it clear that it was city management's decision to take disciplinary action, not city council's.

"Let me be clear, this was not a decision of Council, but instead of management at the City," Bigger said in the letter. "It's not something that Council gets involved with as a part of its role and we were made aware of this situation after it had been undertaken."

Bigger also said he understands why many people are upset, but that personnel decisions shouldn't be discussed in the open.

"When there are discussions relating to individual employment situations, that we not share that with the public," he said. "Why? Because it's not fair to those who are involved. I would ask residents to consider whether you would like the nature of your employment shared with the rest of the community?"

Council will reconvene next Wednesday, Bigger said, to go over what happened.

October 5, 2017

Letter to the Community from Mayor Bigger

I understand that many of you are concerned about the disciplinary action taken by the City of Greater Sudbury in the Community Safety department. I want you to know that I hear you. And Council has heard you.

 

Public safety is incredibly important to this Council, and that includes making sure that we resolve issues and provide opportunities for our fire services to succeed. It also means, however, that when there are discussions relating to individual employment situations, that we not share that with the public. Why? Because it's not fair to those who are involved. I would ask residents to consider whether you would like the nature of your employment shared with the rest of the community?

 

Let me be clear, this was not a decision of Council, but instead of management at the City. It's not something that Council gets involved with as a part of its role and we were made aware of this situation after it had been undertaken.

 

I want to assure you that as your Mayor that I am working proactively with Council on this issue with staff and I've asked that staff and Council reconvene on this with additional information next Wednesday.

 

I want to thank the community for your patience, while we go through what seems like a long process to many of you. We'll get there.

with files from Olivia Stefanovich
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