Current customers advised of imminent shutdown of the service as union rejects final effort to keep dispatchers employed
Monday, January 14, 2019 - Yarmouth, N.S. - The Town of Yarmouth has issued notice to all remaining dispatch customers that shutdown of the service is imminent after negotiations with the International Association of Firefighters Local 2094 recently broke off. In a final effort that would have gradually phased out the service and kept the dispatchers employed, an offer was issued allowing them to take on new roles as firefighters. The union rejected the proposal, which included wage increases and mandatory retirement at the age of 65.
This latest offer in a string of efforts to either maintain the service using a fair cost-sharing model, or keep the individuals employed, was put on the table with hopes of yielding positive results. Although the town has clearly committed at this point to discontinue the dispatch service with the model that was in place, this offer involved phasing out the service and keeping these individuals employed within the department. Had the offer been accepted, they would have stayed on as dispatchers for a time, then switched to even better paying positions. But the union rejected the offer and provided no room for further discussion.
No specific timeline has been set for the shutdown of the service and layoff notices have yet to be delivered. Important work continues this week to ensure all previous customers have new dispatch service safely in place. Work is also underway on a number of key logistical items, including station and equipment upgrades needed to meet the requirements of outside dispatch providers. Once work is completed, the service will be handed over to the new service provider.