LEEDS & GRENVILLE, Ont. – The Paramedics of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville voted today to accept an ‘eleventh hour’ offer from the County.
Dave Hone, the President of CUPE Local 4440 representing the Paramedics, stated that “In the interest of public safety, we reluctantly accepted the County’s offer. We didn’t achieve our goal of the provincial average wage but the alternative would have been to interrupt paramedic services for the people of Leeds Grenville.”
Hone added, “Even though our most senior Paramedics will see increases of 4.5% for 2007 and 4% in 2008, they still make $1.05 per hour less than the provincial average.”
Paramedics across the province provide an essential service to the public. The province sets ambulance, equipment, and patient care standards; monitors compliance; and funds 50% of paramedic services, yet there is no provincial wage for Paramedics.
Hone later added, “This was a very long and frustrating round of bargaining and we are very appreciative of all the support we have received from the public and other workers and Unions.”
The Paramedics will continue to lobby the County for a fair wage. They will be back at the bargaining table soon, since it took 18 months to conclude negotiations on this two year contract. The current Collective Agreement expires at the end of 2008.
For further information, please contact:
Kristy Davidson, CUPE National Representative: 613-542-2069 ext. 3 (office); 416-833-1798 (cell)
Benoit Renaud, CUPE Communications Representative: 613-818-0077 (cell)