Mayor Cam Guthrie announced at the end of last week's council meeting that the city and the Guelph Professional Firefighters' Association are about to begin the next round of bargaining.
Guelph firefighters only last spring ratified a two-year contract that expired this past December, which is to say firefighters had been working without a contract for almost two years.
Here's hoping this round of talks finds resolution in a shorter time frame.
Guthrie issued this firmly-worded statement last week: "Council was clear in its direction. We hope and expect to negotiate a contract that is fair to our employees whose work we value every day in helping to keep our community safe; a contract that is also fair, reasonable and affordable for our citizens and recognizes the city's capacity to pay," the statement reads.
"Council believes firefighters should be paid well for the work they do, and expects the negotiated settlement to be aligned to other City of Guelph union groups/ settlements."
This is all the more interesting within the context of a Margaret Wente column from 2013 that raises the question of what is driving wages and expenses at city halls across the province.