Firefighters union strikes new tentative deal with City of Winnipeg

The union for Winnipeg firefighters has reached a tentative contract agreement with the city.

Alex Forrest, president of the United Firefighters of Winnipeg and the chair of the union's negotiating committee, first tweeted about the proposed deal on Wednesday.

He said he can't divulge any details about the deal until the contract is ratified. A two-part ratification meeting is set for April 25 at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

"We believe this is a good contract for the firefighters, the city and the citizens of Winnipeg," Forrest said Thursday in an interview.

Pending the ratification vote, city council will vote on the contract on Wednesday, as its next regularly scheduled meeting.

The union's last collective agreement expired before Christmas. It is the first of five city labour negotiations that appears headed toward a resolution.

The city has yet to reach a deal with the Winnipeg Police Association, the Winnipeg Police Senior Officers Association, the Winnipeg Association of Public Service Officers and the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 500.

Forrest said the negotiated settlement of the firefighters' contract will save the city about $1 million worth of legal fees, compared to the cost of an arbitrated settlement. The firefighters have now negotiated four straight contracts, he said.