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Emergency medical dispatchers in Montréal - without a contract since 2003 - have launched an online action to pressure Québec health minister Philippe Couillard for a settlement.

The dispatchers, members of CUPE 3642 staged a one day strike April 15, but because they’re considered essential, each member of the local was only allowed to withdraw their labour for an hour a day.

Dispatchers send ambulances in response to emergency calls, and coach callers through emergency first aid procedures until the ambulance arrives.

Montréal’s dispatchers earn 32 per cent less than their 911 colleagues and between 40 and 60 per cent less than those in Alberta, BC and Ontario.

Here’s a translation of the message the union is asking people to send to Québec health minister Philippe Couillard:

The Honourable Philippe Couillard Minister of Health and Social Services

I am asking you today to perform a simple act: Recognize the value of the work of Urgences-santé emergency medical responders (EMRs). Without a contract since 2003, these employees deserve parity with City of Montreal 9-1-1 workers. The current salary of EMRs is obviously inadequate and does not reflect the demands of the job, the level of training, and the vital role they play in road accidents and various dramas. A significant equalization increase is in order. The commitment of these men and women is unflagging, and they deserve our respect and consideration. Parity for the EMRs!