The Fraternité des travailleurs et travailleuses du préhospitalier du Québec (FTPQ, CUPE 7300) is both disappointed and perplexed about the monetary offer made by employer and government representatives. After seeing the Quebec government offer billions of dollars to other stakeholders in the health care sector, paramedics today are left out in the cold.
At a time when paramedics are coming in to assist emergency departments in Quebec hospitals and with the professionalization that has taken hold since the work by the Comité national de transformation des soins préhospitaliers d’urgence (CNTSPU) wrapped up, paramedics are in no mood to see their skills and new responsibilities inadequately compensated.
“For the time being, we’re simply not on the same planet. We and the employer are poles apart in terms of our respective positions on the issues,” said FTPQ president Benoit Cowell.
Paramedics want a negotiated contract. They are seeking, in particular, a change to the wage structure, including substantial hikes for each of the years of the contract, mechanisms to ensure that they can take their meal period during their shift, improvements to the pension plan for the purpose of lowering the retirement age, a lower cost of group insurance and the abolition of on-duty schedules.