Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters’ Association
Bargaining Committee Circular
Interest Arbitration Update
January 10, 2022
The Parties had Arbitrator Burkett, arbitrator for our ongoing Interest Arbitration, scheduled for November 16, 2021. While the intention was to commence arbitration that date Arbitrator Burkett instructed the Parties to continue mediation with his involvement. He then instructed the Parties to meet for further negotiations without his involvement. We subsequently met with the City for those negotiations December 9, 2022 but were unsuccessful at reaching any agreement.
Arbitrator Burkett has responded positively to our request and outlined his timeline to complete this ongoing Arbitration. He has instructed the Parties to present Submissions on their own proposals to him, at the end of January. This will be followed up by reply or rebuttal submissions (responses to each other’s submission) the third week of February and the final exchanges to be mid-March.
The focus of the Bargaining Committee continues to be moving the arbitration process along expeditiously and fairly. We feel we have been successful with those efforts based on the schedule put forward by Arbitrator Burkett. This is especially true based on the interim pay we were successful in arguing for. The short delay by having mediation on November 16, 2021 was not time wasted as progress was made and it certainly allowed Arbitrator Burkett to explore and assess the bargaining issues of both the Union and the City.
Arbitrator Burkett has agreed to set aside April 7, 2022 if it is needed by the Parties. He is keeping the date in an abundance of caution in case either party wishes to make oral arguments to him. If there is no ability to make oral arguments in the arbitration process, any arbitration award could be overturned by a court by judicial review of the decision.