EMS Seeking Same Treatment Received by Other Essential Service Workers


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These men and women do magnificant jobs, under some of the worst conditions.

The Mayor of the City of Toronto has been threatening for months to lock-out City employees effective January 17, 2011.

He is itching for a fight and has used provocative scare tactics and language to drag City workers into it.

Toronto paramedics will learn Monday whether the city’s EMS will become an essential service with an arbitration process mirroring similar agreements for police officers and firefighters.

The paramedics’ union, CUPE Local 416, offered the city an essential service agreement to keep 100 per cent of the city’s paramedics and their support staff at work.

In a news release, CUPE Local 416 said the only provision in the offer is to allow the paramedics the ability to go to a fair arbitration system – the same as the city’s police and fire services, and the TTC – to settle future contract agreements.

The city turned down the provision and sent the matter to the Ontario Labour Relations Board, which is set to release its ruling Monday.

CUPE Local 416 accused the city of trying to strip the union of its right to strike without a fair and reasonable exchange of arbitration.

We don't realize the important and significant role that Paramedics play until we need them - similiar to other EMS workers (police, fire, etc.)

“Paramedics demand to know why the City of Toronto wants to treat them differently than police, fire and TTC, who are all essential services with arbitration,” paramedic Roberta Scott said in the news release.

The city took the position after Mayor Rob Ford told a CP24 mayoral debate in October 2010 he would make the city’s EMS an essential service, the press release stated.

The union is asking the mayor to live up to the promise.

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