of Calgary was bargaining in bad faith. The provincial Board found that the City did not allow the paramedics “a reasonable time to assess and respond” to a package of material concerning wages that it sent out to paramedics. Under the Alberta Labour code, both parties have a duty to bargain in good faith which “includes giving the other side reasonable time to review and digest and make a rational response to a proposal or material presented in the context of bargaining”.
“Whats interesting is the employer never gave us these numbers during bargaining, it was only after 97% of our members rejected the citys offer”, said Bruce Robb, President of CUPE Local 3421. “Its no wonder though, because there are a number of misleading figures in the document.”
The city document, which led to the Boards decision, compares, for example, the hourly rate of CRHA Paramedics with seven years service with a City Paramedic with ten years service. It also compares the annual wages of CRHA Paramedics who work a 38-hour workweek to City Paramedics who work 42 hours. The City seems to be saying that paramedics who have to work longer each week, should be willing to accept a lower hourly rate.
“In its recent ad in the Herald and the Sun, the City implies that all the other unions have accepted their offer”, said Robb. “But this is only half true. Only five out of the eleven bargaining units have signed on to the citys package. Police and Fire are going to arbitration and some of the others have not even started bargaining on 2001. This is the kind of thing that we have been dealing with from the beginning of these negotiations.” Although the City has been found to be bargaining in bad faith, both parties will resume negotiations on October 17 and 18.
Calgary Paramedics continue their legal strike vote tomorrow from 7 AM to 8 PM and on Sunday from 7 AM until noon. The voting is taking place at the :
224 12 Avenue SE.
For More Information Please Contact:
Bruce Robb, President
Susan Ruffo, CUPE National Representative
Calgary Paramedics CUPE Local 3421
2ND Floor, 224 12 Avenue SE
Calgary, AB T2G 1A1