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VANCOUVER – Striking Ambulance Paramedics are meeting Thursday and Friday for more contract talks with their employer. The bargaining committee for the 3,500 members of CUPE 873 presented a comprehensive proposal including monetary items to the BC Ambulance Service last week. Provincial mediator Mark Atkinson will be in attendance.

The paramedics have been on strike since April 1 for faster ambulance response times, better staffing levels, wage parity with other emergency responders and a multi-year contract. The paramedics continue to provide ambulance services under an Essential Services Order.

Ambulance Paramedics of B.C. president John Strohmaier said it will be up to the employer if any progress is made. “Last time we met, they didn’t seem to have a mandate to actually negotiate – we are hoping that has changed. They have our proposal and they have our stated desire to stay at the table as long as it takes to hammer out an equitable settlement.”