Leeds and Grenville paramedics reach last minute deal

    LEEDS & GRENVILLE, ON, June 4 /CNW Telbec/ - 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:

For further information: Kristy Davidson, CUPE National Representative,
(613) 542-2069 ext. 3, Cell: (416) 833-1798; Benoit Renaud, CUPE
Communications Representative, Cell: (613) 818-0077

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