Town loses arbitration appeal

by Vance Gutzman

Marvis Frazier lasted just 30 seconds in the ring with Mike Tyson before being knocked to the floor with a thunderous right in the former heavyweight champion’s quickest fight of all time.

Deep River went a few more rounds (four months and six days, to be exact) but still left the ring bloodied, bruised and battered at the hands of an arbitration board last week.

The board of interest arbitration held a hearing back in February regarding a number of outstanding issues between the town and the Deep River Professional Fire Fighters Association.

The long-awaited award handed down last week by the board was a huge blow to the town’s focus at the hearing on reducing the number of municipal firefighters through attrition, while adding a complement of 24 volunteers.

The last award was handed down in 2014, and gave the town the green light to establish a composite firefighting service (comprised of full-time and volunteer firefighters).

However, the board also held firm that there would be little or no reduction in the number of full-time firefighters employed by the municipality, allowing the town to reduce the number by one from nine to eight.

“It is noteworthy,” the arbitration board stated last week, “that the employer subsequently made no efforts to move to a composite force as our earlier award specifically entitled it to do.

“In these circumstances, it would not be appropriate to accede to the employer’s request (for further reductions).”

> for more on this story, pick up a copy of the June 28 North Renfrew Times