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BC ambulance paramedics have strongly rejected a tentative settlement, calling for further improvements to hours and wages.

Calling a 42-hour work week unacceptable, CUPE Local 873 president John Strohmaier said, Excessive hours have seriously affected the health of our members. Stress, extended absences and suicides are on the rise. The paramedics who are on the very front line of health care need help themselves.

Strohmaier indicated that any long-term agreement must also include a meaningful wage increase. Its been a long time since weve had an increase in wages, he said.

The tentative agreement had been after months of job action and the locals successful Fighting for Life Campaign. The campaign pointed out the dangerous workload of ambulance paramedics in the province and gained tremendous widespread public support. Local 873 is now calling on government negotiators to return to the bargaining table immediately.