Hamilton’s paramedics will receive small raises in their current contract in line with inflation and some increases to benefits.
The arbitrators award is contrary to the belief that arbitration always grants essential services raises they could not win at the negotiating table, and is keeping with recent decisions for emergency workers across Ontario.
Hamilton’s police officers are presently without an contract, and negotiations are progressing slowly – this latest arbitration ruling may decrease the incentives for the police association to choose arbitration over a negotiated agreement.
The arbitrator ruled Hamilton’s Paramedics, who were without a contract since April 2012, will receive 2.1, 2.0, 2.0, and 1.75% during their new four year contract that expires at the end of March 2016.
The increases are retroactive to April 1, 2012.
There are increases to benefits, mostly minor with a notable increase in the top-up for pregnancy and parental leaves.
The City received a small concession on scheduling of part-time paramedics. The City may average their 24-hours per week over a two week person in the summer and during the Christmas Break solely for vacation replacements.
Police and Fire Still Without Contract
The arbitrators decision is of interest as both Hamilton’s police officers and firefighters are presently without contracts.
There is little trend in recent arbitration decisions with some arbitrators giving wage increases above inflation and others – such as the ruling above – sticking to the cost of living.