Ontario passes mandatory retirement for firefighters

Legislation sets retirement age at 60
|payroll-reporter.com|Last Updated: 06/01/2011

Firefighters in Ontario will hang up their helmets for good at age 60 under a new law.

The province passed changes to the Fire Protection and Prevention Act on May 31 that standardize the retirement age for salaried firefighters involved in frontline firefighting duties.

The average retirement age for a firefighter in Ontario is 57, and most municipalities already specify a mandatory retirement age in their collective agreements, the province said. The new law gives municipalities without mandatory retirement at age 60 two years to negotiate new retirement provisions.

The legislation also allows firefighters who believe their local association is not representing them fairly to take their complaints to the Ontario Labour Relations Board, which is common practice with most other unions, according to the province.

Fred LeBlanc, president of the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters’ Association, hailed the legislation — which passed unanimously with all-party support — as a victory for firefighters.

“This ends our long road in securing mandatory retirement for professional firefighters and addresses the concerns related to duty of fair representation cases,” he said.

Minister of Labour Charles Sousa said the legislation recognizes the years of “selfless service and hazardous nature of the work” of full-time firefighters.

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