CUPE is proud to recognize and celebrate Paramedic Services Week this year from May 23-29 - a time to show our gratitude and appreciation to the paramedics who work every day to keep us and our communities safe.

Over the past year, the pandemic has challenged us all, and paramedics have been forced to tackle their already-difficult jobs with the added risk of COVID-19. All too often, instead of respecting and supporting paramedics, we have seen governments and employers fall short.

Throughout the pandemic, paramedics have had to fight for access to proper personal protective equipment they need to do their jobs safely. They have had to battle a lack of proper investment in ambulances and staffing that resulted in critical shortages of available services to the public. Pandemic or not, this is simply unacceptable.

We have also been fighting privatization in the sector, as large for-profit interests take a larger role in the delivery of emergency response services. CUPE will always stand up to defend our public health care – and that includes paramedic services.

We have had positive moments over the past year too, which shouldn’t be forgotten. In June 2020, CUPE was proud to sign a collective agreement for Oneida Nation of the Thames paramedics – the first contract between our union and a First Nations paramedic service in Ontario.

This week, and every week, CUPE celebrates the courage and commitment of our paramedic members – and recommit ourselves to fighting to take care of them, while they take care of us.