Windsor firefighters vow to fight changes to department

Windsor's firefighting union on Monday night vowed to fight council's plan to transform the department.

Members of the Windsor Professional Firefighters Association voiced their displeasure at council

Windsor's firefighting union on Monday night vowed to fight council's plan to transform the department.

Several members of the Windsor Professional Firefighters Association were at council to make their point.

The president of the association says his members are not pleased with the plan council has approved to mitigate the cost of an arbitrator's ruling.

Angelo Gertsakis outlined to council the reasons they can't support it.

Gertsakis says his association has other options to put forward.

But Mayor Eddie Francis says the firefighters have had more than enough time to present their case. He says council is proceeding with its plan.

"We've put a plan in place that improves coverage for additional 50,000 residents. We've put a plan forward that gets us down to zero, without passing the cost to the taxpayers," Francis said. "They're already negotiating the 2015 collective agreement and we'll deal with that when they come forward. Our parameters are well-known and well-established and that's what we're proceeding on."

The association is upset about the city converting district chief positions to assistant chief ranks and having drivers for district chiefs become regular firefighters.

Gertsakis says grievances will be filed over those changes.

"I'm disappointed. We were hoping to bring back another option in January ... to look at it because it takes a long time to get the resources to do what we have to do," Gertsakis said. "This isn't dead in our eyes. We're still going to try to do the best that we can do to come back and bring some other options."

Councillors says they're getting support from the public about the plan.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.