Mayor Brian Bowman was not happy when he learned of an agreement between the United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg and the city that required the city to pay about 60% of union president Alex Forrest’s salary back in January.
The payment arrangement was agreed to in 2014 and runs until Forrest is no longer president of the local. Currently, Forrest is paid as a Captain and receives about $120,000 per year. He is on full time leave from his firefighting duties while he serves full time with the union.
Prior to 2014, however, the city paid 100% of the union president’s salary.
On Wednesday Mayor Bowman put forward a motion at Executive Policy Committee that would see the city get reimbursed for 100% of Forrest’s salary. The motion references an updated letter of understanding in the 2017 agreement that allows the city and the union to work on a better deal for taxpayers by committing to an agreement for reimbursement of costs.
The current agreement with the firefighters runs until 2020 it was ratified by council in April 2017 but so far has not been signed by the Mayor. Bowman says he won’t sign it until city council is able to provide direction on the updated provision.
In a written statement to media, Forrest said: “We have always said if the city believes they need to reopen any specific clause of the contract due to concerns we are always open to trying to figure a solution.”
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