Innisfail firefighters unhappy with town

Innisfail firefighters say town should have consulted them before making compensation changes.

Innisfail’s volunteer firefighters are frustrated they were left out in the cold when the town moved to change their pay scale.

“The dollars aren’t the issue,” said assistant deputy fire chief Tim Ainscough on Friday. “It’s the frustration with how council and administration are treating us.

“My concern is we’re going to start losing members, good members, well-trained members.”

The first he and other members of the 28-strong department heard there were pay changes in the works was the night before a new response policy with changes to compensation was to go to council.

“No one had seen it. They never talked to us, they never consulted us. They never asked us what can we do, how can we work together,” said Ainscough.

“That’s our biggest concern.”

Previous compensation agreements had involved discussion between the department and town administration, he said.

The town has said it needed to make changes to keep the fire department within budget after almost a decade of running over budget. The budget has tripled over the same period to just over $500,000.

After a detailed review, the town found Innisfail firefighters were costing the town much more per person than comparable fire departments. Also, Innisfail was picking up too much of the cost, with the province and Red Deer County not paying their full share.

A key reform was to change a policy dating back to 2011 that paid firefighters automatically for three hours if they came to the station and headed out to a call. It reflects the usual labour standard for callbacks.

Firefighters agreed that those who came to the station but did not go out were paid for one hour.

Under the new policy, firefighters will only be paid for hours worked.

The changes were meant to reduce costs, which saw the town pay about $6,075 annually for each firefighter, compared with $2,530 for Red Deer County.

Ainscough takes issue with some of the town’s comparisons, saying they are not comparing apples to apples.

Firefighters are writing a letter to formally present their concerns to town administration, he said.

Just Posted

Red Deer teacher contracts condemning same-sex relationships ‘not acceptable’

Eggen says Red Deer Catholic Schools assured him they no longer have employees sign the form

Second-degree murder trial on hold until January

Jury not back until Jan. 7 for 2015 stabbing death trial while lawyers argue evidence issues

Hospitalizations jump in Red Deer due to opioid poisonings

Small city hospitals impacted more by opioid crisis

Stray dog spotted in one Red Deer neighbourhood, could be missing for 1 year

Red Deerians asked not to feed this german shepard

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Trump comments upend U.S. approach to Huawei, trade talks

WASHINGTON — The United States and China have taken pains this week… Continue reading

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Dumba scores twice, Wild rout Canadiens 7-1

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Reeling and banged up, the Minnesota Wild were… Continue reading

Coach Hunter wants up-tempo Team Canada as world junior squad hits ice

COLWOOD, B.C. — Team Canada coach Tim Hunter says the team that… Continue reading

Study finds female-led films outperform male ones

NEW YORK — A study organized by Time’s Up, the organization formed… Continue reading

Price Is Right contestant wins winter trip to Winnipeg, Churchill

WINNIPEG — Who wants to visit Winnipeg in the dead of winter?… Continue reading

CBC Gem streaming service to launch exclusive content, partners with Wattpad

TORONTO — The CBC has launched a new streaming service featuring live… Continue reading

‘Part of the solution:’ Alberta seeks proposals to build new refinery

EDMONTON — Alberta is looking for someone to build a new oil… Continue reading

Most Read