Labour Issues

Articles specific to labour relations between City Hall and the London Professional Fire Fighters Association.

September 2018

Cost to probe city hall harassment could reach $450,000

September 19th, 2018|

An independent probe into harassment at city hall could cost taxpayers close to half a million dollars by the time it’s complete, new estimates from city staff suggest.

Rubin Thomlinson, a Toronto law firm, has so far launched 18 investigations, probing about half of the total complaints received during an initial assessment. So far, it […]

July 2018

First woman fire chief in southwestern Ontario hired in London

July 9th, 2018|

Lori Hamer will lead a force that’s recently complained of workplace harassment and a ‘culture of fear’.

London has a new fire chief and she is one of only a handful of women in Canada to hold the job.

Lori Hamer has acted as leader since the spring, when the chief at the time retired amid […]

April 2018

Sick leave spikes at city hall, fire department

April 30th, 2018|

Sick days skyrocketed in some parts of the London fire department last year, the average up close to 80 hours per employee, according to new statistics from city hall.

The city’s report on time lost in 2017 to injury and illness shows that workers in the communications branch of the fire department took an average […]

March 2018

Retiree details harassment in London Fire Dept.

March 26th, 2018|

Retired firefighter details harassment allegations at London Fire Department – London

A retired district chief with the London Fire Department remembers contacting the Ontario Human Rights Commission after he said a female colleague was reduced to tears for trying to address her workplace concerns with officials.

It’s the latest development in the ongoing story of alleged workplace […]

London Fire Department John Kobarda retirement

March 22nd, 2018|

The sudden retirement of London’s longtime fire chief amid a flurry of unresolved harassment complaints in his department is a chance to properly address the issue, says the activist who recently made the issue public.

London Abused Women’s Centre executive director Megan Walker said John Kobarda’s departure – announced in a surprise statement released Monday […]

Firefighters vote no confidence in deputy chief

March 21st, 2018|

Firefighters union votes no confidence in London’s assistant deputy fire chief

The fallout from a tidal wave of harassment allegations within the City of London continues, with a high-ranking member of the London Fire Department drawing heat from the union.

Sources within the London Fire Department told 980 CFPL that assistant deputy fire chief Jack Burt […]

Firefighters want deputy gone

March 21st, 2018|

Firefighters want deputy chief Jack Burt gone, sources say

Two days after London’s fire chief abruptly retired amid allegations of widespread bullying in the department, members of the firefighters’ union say they have no confidence in acting deputy fire chief Jack Burt, either.

Sources say Tuesday night’s vote happened during a routine union meeting.

There were other items […]

Platoon chief speaks out on problems

March 19th, 2018|

Platoon chief speaks out on problems within London Fire Department, chief's early retirement

London fire chief retires ‘effective immediately’

March 19th, 2018|

UPDATED | John Kobarda retires as London fire chief ‘effective immediately’
27-year veteran leaves with department facing complaints about workplace harassment

A week after it hired a third-party investigator to examine workplace harassment at city hall, the City of London announced the retirement of Fire Chief John Kobarda with no warning, no fanfare and no glowing […]

Workplace Harassment Allegations

March 13th, 2018|

Following a tumultuous couple of days at city hall, facing numerous harassment allegations involving several departments, London’s mayor is speaking out.

On Monday, council held a special in-camera meeting to discuss “personal matters.”

After the meeting, London city manager Martin Hayward issued a news release stating the city has numerous policies in place to ensure “a […]

One department source of most harassment 

March 13th, 2018|

One London city hall department source of most harassment complaints: Activist
Allegations of more than two dozen workplace harassment complaints at city hall erupted Monday night, just hours after London city council went behind closed doors at a hastily called special meeting, prompting the city’s top bureaucrat to speak out.

Megan Walker, executive director of the […]

‘Culture of fear’ firefighter says

March 13th, 2018|

‘Culture of fear’ in fire department, firefighter says
A London firefighter said he’s been raising the alarm about a “culture of fear” within the city’s fire department for years, even taking complaints about workplace harassment to top city managers in recent months, according to emails obtained by The Free Press.

“Here we are, people that will […]

Chief accused of harassment still has his job

March 13th, 2018|

Deputy fire chief accused of harassment still has his job, being paid $168K
A year and a half after an investigation was launched into the conduct of a deputy fire chief, he remains off the job while collecting his $160,000 annual salary.

City hall launched an investigation into the conduct of Deputy Fire Chief Brian McLaughlin […]

Manager says city takes discrimination seriously

March 13th, 2018|

Manager says city takes discrimination seriously; women’s advocate calls that a lie

The City of London says it’s committed to creating a harassment-free workplace, but the executive director of the London Abused Women’s Centre (LAWC) says this is a lie.

Megan Walker, LAWC executive director, says that discrimination and harassment were on the table at yesterday’s closed-door […]

Harassment at City Hall?

March 13th, 2018|

Former London Professional Fire Fighters Association President John Hassan discusses harassment of City staff and fire fighters along with other interviews.

April 2017

Chief avoids probe query

April 28th, 2017|

London’s fire chief isn’t answering burning questions about the mysterious absence of one of his deputies.

Chief John Kobarda on Friday declined to clarify Brian McLaughlin’s status.

McLaughlin, who’s in charge of fire prevention, hasn’t been at work since April 11 when he was seen leaving the fire hall with a duffel bag.

His absence comes amid […]

City deal with firefighters could happen Friday

April 20th, 2017|

London’s long-running labour fire could be snuffed out by Friday evening.

City firefighters, pitched for years with city hall in the longest contract fight in Canadian firefighting history, will complete on Friday the mandatory three days of ratification voting on the tentative deal reached between the two sides.

The matter will then go to city council, […]

New boss sets new tone with city labour

April 17th, 2017|

The timing is definitely not a ­coincidence.

Just two months after the exit of Art Zuidema — and not quite two weeks after Martin Hayward took over permanently as London’s top bureaucrat — the long-running, oft-bitter contract battle between city hall and its firefighters could be over.

There’s a new boss. And he’s not the same […]

Firefighters, city reach tentative deal

April 13th, 2017|

A tentative deal has been reached between city hall and London’s firefighters, potentially ending the longest contract dispute in Canadian firefighting history.

Having worked under an expired deal since 2010, the London Professional Fire Fighters Association (LPFFA) was deep into arbitration – expected to last until next year – until talks with city hall recently […]

January 2017

Firefighter deal by next year?

January 10th, 2017|

Hopes ignite for firefighter deal by next year

Arbitration hearings resume Tuesday between city hall and London firefighters amid hopes the protracted process can reach a conclusion by this time next year.

City officials have lifted a legal objection that derailed the arbitration process, hoping to kick-start efforts to reach a conclusion in the years-long contract […]