Firefighters apologize and will pay for rowdy City Hall protest

The City of Montreal adopted its agreement with the firefighters union Wednesday, and unveiled some of the details of the deal.

Along with the restructuring of the pension plan, the deal includes an apology from the union's president Ronald Martin, for the raucous protest that saw firefighters storm City Hall on August 18, 2014.

Martin said in a letter that control had been lost, and some of his members were involved in many unfortunate incidents.

The union will also pay for a significant portion of the damages from that night, which included smashed windows and banged up furniture.

Mayor Denis Coderre said he was pleased with the public apology, adding it shows a measure of respect for municipal democracy, and for the citizens of Montreal. He said with the deal being passed, both sides will move forward and work in a climate of collaboration and respect with a goal of working for the people of Montreal.

No details on how much the union would be paying in damages were released.

The deal will also bring: 

- An end to all pressure tactics related to pension reform

- A reversal in the decision to fire six employees related to the protest. The dismissals will be changed to unpaid suspensions set to end 15 days after the Executive Committee's approval of the agreement

- Maintaining disciplinary measures imposed on 49 other firefighters involved in the demonstration.

As for the restructuring of the pension plan, it will include:

- Sharing of the pension plan deficit prior to December 31, 2013 (45% firefighters and 55% City of Montreal)

- Employee contribution increase of 2.8% in June 2017

- A second employee contribution increase of 2.2% on January 1, 2018

- A 7% decrease in City contributions as of January 1, 2018

- 50-50 split of the costs of the pension plan as of January 1, 2018