The Fraternité des travailleurs et travailleuses du préhospitalier du Québec, CUPE 7300 (FTPQ), representing paramedics in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli denounces the 8-hour service interruption during the night of May 19-20, involving the lone ambulance serving the region.
Saint-Jean-Port-Joli paramedics still work on stand-by, which requires them to provide service 24 hours a day for 7 consecutive days. CNESST rules require that paramedics be taken off the road for 8 hours so that they can recover during periods of heavy demand. These schedules are far less attractive and this combined with the labour shortage means that Paraxion, the private service provider, cannot find a replacement for paramedics when they are forced to rest up.
Had it not been for the stubbornness of the Quebec Government, this schedule and the times during which no ambulances are available to serve the public in the Islet Nord RCM would have been a thing of the past. The FTPQ is demanding a schedule conversion, which has received support from all of the municipalities of the Islet RCM through resolution in recent years.
“At a time when Premier Legault is telling us that the decision to give pay hikes totalling $3.75 million a year to MNAs is a tough one, I’d like to make him a proposal that is much easier. How about converting the stand-by schedules of the paramedics in our region for $800,000 a year!” said Stéphane Lévesque, provincial Vice-President of the FTPQ and a paramedic in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli.
The FTPQ is a major union in the prehospital field. We are the loan exclusively independent union of paramedics in Quebec. The FTPQ is affiliated with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing more than 17,000 paramedics in Canada and with the FTQ, the largest labour federation in Quebec.