RICHMOND Ambulance paramedics strongly rejected a proposed tentative settlement reached after year long negotiations. A province wide vote by secret ballot was conducted throughout B.C. and the results were tabulated today.
Mr. John Strohmaier, Paramedic union president stated, The rejection came, in part, because the Government negotiators could not implement the terms of the proposed settlement. He said, Other issues surfaced not the least of which is the existence of a 42 hour work week which is unacceptable to our members. He went on to say, The decades old standard of the 40 hour week has been enshrined in legislation all across the country, having paramedics exposed to such archaic standards is counterproductive to quality health care.
Strohmaier pointed out that the long hours of work must stop now. Further, he stated, the 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; Issues of concern must be addressed!
Mr. Strohmaier indicated that any long-term agreement must also include a meaningful wage increase. He said Its been a long time since weve have had an increase in wages, our standard of living has eroded. Indeed most members cannot remember that last increase.
The union is calling on the government negotiators to return to the bargaining table immediately in the interest of all citizens of the province. Paramedics have spoken loud and clear that health care costs will not be subsidized by them any further.
Editors: Mr. Strohmaier may be reached at the address below or by phone at (604) 273-5722 or (604) 728-2741
Ambulance Paramedics of B.C.
2270 21331 Gordon Way
Richmond, B.C. V9W 1J9
Web site: www.paramedicsofbc.com