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VANCOUVERBC ambulance paramedics are fuming over an accusation that they are advising their members not to work overtime in violation of a Labour Relations Board ruling on essential service levels.

“This is simply not the case,” said CUPE Local 873 president John Strohmaier. “Immediately following the ruling on Feb. 16, we lifted the ban on overtime, advised our on-call members to be available and will continue to ensure that emergency service levels are maintained.”

“We need more staff and fair and rationale hours of work to keep our communities safe,” Strohmaier said. “The ambulance service is relying on overtime at great cost to the taxpayer. This is wrongheaded in our view, but we are not telling paramedics not to work overtime.”

The ambulance service brought the accusation to the forefront yesterday by asking the LRB to file a copy of the essential services ruling with the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

If the court finds the union guilty it could mean fines and possibly jail terms.


Contact: John Strohmaier, (604) 728-2741 (cell) or (604) 273-5722 (office)