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Targeting paperwork and voluntary overtime BCs ambulance paramedics, members of CUPE local 873 today served their employer, the BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) with 72 hours strike notice. But according to the president of CUPE Local 873, Ambulance Paramedics planned job actions will not reduce ambulance services for the public.

Senior citizens and others concerned that ambulances will not be available for them during this job action should have no fear, said John Strohmaier, President of CUPE Local 873, All job actions will be aimed at administrative practices.

According to Strohmaier CUPE actions could include refusal to complete paper workmaking any ambulance usage free to the patient and refusal by paramedics to voluntarily work overtime shiftsa current common practice that lessens administrative strain.

The kinds of actions we are proposing will cost the administration without affecting patient care, said Strohmaier. In some cases the ambulance paramedics resistance tactics will force BCAS to bring on more staff to provide service. That could actually translate to improved services.

Staffing levels and call turnaround are key issues during the current round of negotiations. In light of mediation set for August 9, 2000 CUPE Local 873 has made it clear that preliminary job actions will primarily be symbolic.

We are glad to be involved in mediation, said Strohmaier. Well give it our best shot. But we must be assured that if both sides agree to the mediators recommendations the funding will be there to deliver.


John Strohmaier
President CUPE Local 873
Tel: (604) 728-2741
Louise Leclair
CUPE Communications
Tel: (604) 454-4711