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Burnaby firefighters take their contract dispute to city hall

In a rare political protest by members of a Metro Vancouver firefighters department, firefighters in Burnaby say they are fed up they still don’t have a contract.

About 80 members of the fire department turned up at last night’s council meeting, staging a silent protest while wearing yellow shirts.

The writing on the shirts said, “Burnaby firefighters, we support those who support us.”

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The firefighters have been without a contract for more than three years and negotiations have ground to a halt.

Mediation will begin next February.

But firefighters say that seems like a waste of time and money, particularly since similar disputes across the region have already been settled.

“The main question is why they want to take us to arbitration,” Local 323 president Rob Lamoureux told Global News. “There have been two cases arbitrated in Vancouver and Prince George that are identical. If we go to arbitration that will happen to us. We know what the wages will be. It’s an undue waste for the taxpayers of Burnaby to go through it and an undue waste for us to go through,” says Lamoureux.

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“All we want is what our fellow firefighters throughout the Lower Mainland are making,” he adds.

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