The Sarnia Professional Firefighters Association (SPFFA) and the City of Sarnia have ratified a four-year contract that will ensure the association’s 126 members are equitably compensated for the crucial lifesaving work they do.

The contract was ratified by City Council on February 12, establishing an annual 3.25 per cent wage increase for Sarnia Fire Rescue staff over the next four years, ensuring compensation keeps up with continued high inflation.

“I want to thank (General Manager of Corporate Services) David Stockdale and the entire City negotiating team for being organized, prepared, and negotiating respectfully in these challenging times; I believe that we’ve come to a settlement that is fair and equitable for all parties involved,” said SPFFA President Matt Madere, who congratulated Fire Chief Bryan Van Gaver on his retirement and thanked him for his contributions to the negotiation process.

“With the expertise and departmental history that he brought to the table, we were able to make operational changes that should allow the department run more effectively,” said Madere.

The contract maintains Sarnia Professional Fire Services’ compensation within Provincial averages and the mandate set out by City Council.

“First and foremost, I would like to thank SPFFA leadership for their insight and collaboration during the negotiation process,” said Human Resources Manager Tammy Broer, adding, “our firefighters do crucial work, and this contract ensures they will continue to be compensated appropriately while maintaining affordability for our residents.”

The previous contract for the SPFFA expired on Dec. 31, 2023. Negotiations began in late 2023, and the new contract expires Dec. 31, 2027.

The City continues negotiations that began in the fall of last year with several of its other employee groups, specifically CUPE 3690, CUPE 2713, and CUPE 153.