‘Sends a terrible message’: Sudbury volunteer firefighters face discipline, termination

'Sends a terrible message': Sudbury volunteer firefighters face discipline, termination
‘Sends a terrible message’: Sudbury volunteer firefighters face discipline, termination
“The message that’s being sent to volunteers — that we’re hearing back from our volunteers — is to not voice any concerns within social media or be able to speak to their councillors on any level, which we completely disagree with,” O’Coin said.

Some volunteer firefighters are being penalized after voicing their concerns over a plan that would have largely replaced their members with full-time firefighters, according to the Christian Labour Association of Canada. (Angela Gemmill/CBC)

Volunteer firefighters are represented by the Ontario Volunteer Firefighters Association, CLAC Local 920.

Union vows to ‘exhaust every resource’ in collective agreement Volunteers are considered part-time employees with the City of Greater Sudbury.“Volunteers opposed the optimization plan because it was not the right plan for the residents of this city,” Matthew Walchuk, CLAC Sudbury field representative, said. “They were not concerned with losing their stipend for being a volunteer. They realized the actual cost of the optimization plan and knew it would significantly increase taxes while not enhancing the fire service. They were left with no choice but to speak with members of council and inform the citizens of what the optimization plan would do. We fully support the rights of our members to free speech and stand with our members."”We believe that through the grievance procedure every single one of these volunteers will be reinstated.”

Ward 3 Coun. Gerry Montpellier was not happy with the news Friday that volunteers had been dismissed.Mary Katherine Keown, The Sudbury Star

Letters were sent to volunteer firefighters in June to meet with the city’s deputy fire chief over public comments made about fire and paramedic services. (Supplied)

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