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FORT MACLEOD – Fourteen employees of the Fort Macleod Ambulance Service will see wage increases of between 24% to 122% in the first year of a two year deal negotiated with the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

The large increase comes as ambulance service is taken over by Alberta Health Services. 

CUPE Alberta President Dennis Mol said the employer recognized that Ambulance workers in Fort Macleod were far below provincial standards for wages.  Under the old contract, EMT staff earned $11.66/hour and EMR staff only $10.40/hour.

With Paramedics in Lethbridge and Calgary just down the road earning far greater salaries, the town realized they had a lot of catching up to do,” said Mol.  “We can’t ask people to save lives for similar wages paid to fast food servers.”

The contract runs between 2009 and 2010.  Most of the wage increases are in the first year.  Staff will get increases in the second year in accordance with Alberta Health Services funding.

Contact:  Lou Arab Communications Representative 780.271.2722   LA/gb  cope #491