Toronto Paramedic Association responds to Ontario Labour Relations Board decision on Paramedic staffing levels during potential City of Toronto labour lock out

TORONTO, Jan. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - The OLRB has returned a ruling regarding the Essential Services Agreement between the City of Toronto EMS division and the labour representative for Toronto EMS Paramedics and Support staff. The OLRB has ruled that if the City of Toronto forces a labour disruption by locking out city staff, only 85% of Toronto's Paramedics will be coming to work on a daily basis and 0% of support staff will be coming to work. Paramedics rely on support staff to ensure supplies, vehicle and equipment maintenance and many other activities related to keeping the people of Toronto safe and secure.

The TPA is very concerned with this ruling. We firmly believe that the safety and security of the citizens of Toronto is paramount and that politics should not put people's health and lives in jeopardy. Through CUPE 416, Toronto Paramedics have already indicated that they want to come to work 100% during any potential labour disruption. All that Paramedics want in return for giving up their right to strike is a fair process of binding interest arbitration. The City of Toronto has thus far refused to provide this.

The TPA completely supports essential service status for Toronto EMS Paramedics, Dispatchers, Management and Support staff. We believe any essential service status given to EMS should be exactly the same as the status afforded Police and Fire services across the province. It is imperative that this designation include a fair and equitable process of binding interest arbitration for dispute resolution. All Paramedics and Emergency Medical Services across the province of Ontario should be mandated as an essential service.  Current provincial legislation (Ambulance Act, Ambulance Services Collective Bargaining Act etc.) requires that in order for any Emergency Medical Service to be made essential, all Emergency Medical Services in Ontario must be made essential.

The TPA represents the professional interests of nearly 400 Toronto Paramedics. The TPA is a chapter organization of the Ontario Paramedic Association and the Paramedic Association of Canada.

SOURCE Toronto Paramedic Association

For further information:

Geoff MacBride
Toronto Paramedic Association

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