Tentative deal reached with LPFFA: sources

A tentative deal reached last night between the London Professional Firefighters Association and City Hall could end a contract dispute and arbitration that has dragged on for more than 6 years.

Arbitration hearings scheduled for yesterday and today were abruptly cancelled leading to speculation that negotiations had resumed.

Sources tell CTV News that late last night a tentative deal was reached to end the longest firefighter arbitration hearing in Canadian history.

Last year, the union estimated that the hearing had cost them more than $1 million dollars, and likely cost City Hall even more.

London firefighters have been without a contract since 2010.

City Hall had been seeking to end wage parity with London Police and have the ability to outsource dispatchers.

Terms of the tentative deal remain under wraps until a ratification vote is held by the LPFFA next week.  If ratified, City Council would then hold a special meeting to consider approving the contract.

Former City Manager Art Zuidema had been widely criticized for his handling of several labour disputes with public sector unions.

He was replaced in February by Martin Hayward.