A decision by a City committee is sure to fan the flames with members of the London Professional Fire Fighters Association.
On Tuesday, members of the Corporate Services Committee voted down a request from Jason Timlick, the President of the LPFFA, to speak directly to them about the ongoing six-year labour dispute with the City.
Timlick requested delegation status at the meeting, but ultimately the motion was defeated on a 3-3 split vote.
Councillors, Virginia Ridley, Tanya Park, and Josh Morgan supported the delegation request.
“I don’t want to shut down a group, or an individual, or an individual representing a group who says ‘hey city council, hey committee, I have something that I want you to hear,” argued Ridley.
Councillors Jesse Helmer, Harold Usher, and acting Mayor Paul Hubert voted against the request.
“We have a bargaining team for this purpose,” said Helmer. “I really understand where it’s coming from but I’m not going to support it. I think it would accomplish nothing. I think it would be really frustrating for everybody.”
The two sides in the dispute are currently in interest arbitration, and it’s possible a deal may not be reached until 2019.
The contract battle between firefighters and the City has dragged on for six years and is believed to be the longest in Canadian history.
City hall is pushing for a number of concessions, including an end to the policy of pay parity for firefighters with London police.