Paramedics and paramedics are employed by the BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS), which is part of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). It will also ensure that the new requirements of the Employment Standards Act are met by the end of March 2022. According to the union, the new agreement will be retroactive to April 1 and many changes will be implemented immediately or in the coming months. Members of HEABC and ambulance Paramedics – Ambulance Dispatchers Bargaining Association (APADBA) have ratified a three-year collective agreement that is consistent with the BC government`s negotiating mandate for sustainable services, including general wage increases of 2.0 per cent per year. The impact of the new collective agreement on Powell River rescue and ambulance resources is not known at this time. Morris told BCEHS` current resources in Powell River: There are two ambulances (and one additional vehicle if necessary) and 16 paramedics, consisting of four full-time equivalents and 12 part-time positions. “We`re going to do a community-by-community analysis; This process will take a few months,” Morris said. “Once the evaluation is complete, we must also respect the collective agreement with a view to properly notifying our employees of the new positions that our employees may be requesting. We welcome the positive changes for our employees and the communities in which they work and who will come with this new agreement over the next three years. Over the course of seven months at the negotiating table, the parties agreed on more than 80 proposals – a figure, according to Eby, which represents a huge step forward in modernizing the collective agreement.
“This new collective agreement can make the most significant changes our employment has ever seen in a single period of negotiations,” said Cameron Eby, President of CUPE 873 (Ambulance Paramedics of B.C.). Members of the Paramedics and Ambulance Dispatchers Bargaining Association and the Health Employers` Association of BC Employers have ratified an agreement. The agreement includes a three-year period (April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2022); general wage increase of 2% over a three-year period; and negotiation-based language that helps to transform much of the ambulance service model by transforming guard and guard stations into new permanent ambulance stations in small municipalities and other changes that help improve service delivery. The sub-sector collective agreement for ambulance and ambulance dispensaries includes more than 3,600 paramedics in BC. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 873 represents workers in the ambulance subsector. These employees were previously members of the FBA (Facilities Bargaining Association). The new agreement is the first collective agreement for B.C. ambulance and distributors since 2004. It includes general wage increases of two per cent per year, hundreds of new regular ambulance jobs across the province, and several new health and safety initiatives, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
APADBA believes that this agreement is the positive relationship between the parties at the negotiating table and creates a solid foundation for the future of medical services in BC.