Local Paramedics Vote In Favour of Strike

ambulance paramedics
file photo

Unifor Local 1359 represents 54 paramedics that work in the EMS Division of Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services who have been in bargaining with the City of Sault Ste. Marie since early spring of this year.

The contract has expired effective March of 2017 and we have reached an impasse with the employer.

On Wednesday, October 25, 2017 the membership voted 93 per cent in favour of supporting strike action if a fair and respectful deal with the city wasn’t reached.

Unifor Local 1359 President, Laurie Lessard-Brown, said, “The strike vote last night should be a strong message to the city that the paramedics in this community are extremely disappointed with the city, their bargaining strategy and proposals. The local has made an application for Conciliation with the Office of Mediation and dates with a conciliation officer will be arranged with the employer in the near future. Hopefully with the conciliation officers help we can get a negotiated deal and services won’t be affected in the future.”

“The community realizes that our paramedics are the first link to the life-saving actions of our community, but unfortunately the City of Sault Ste. Marie, its council and the Human Resources Department are prepared to risk all that when they feel our paramedics should go from one of the better workplaces to the worst in one contract. Paramedics are there day in and day out saving lives in our community. They are integral to the health and safety of all citizens of Sault Ste. Marie and they deserve respectful, fair and competitive collective agreement.”

Unifor Local 1359 has over 1359 members and represents the City of Sault Ste. Marie Paramedics, Cedarwood Lodge, Sault Area Hospital, Extendicare Van Daele and Maple View Long Term Care Homes, Brinks Canada, USW Admin and Support Staff, Carillion Ellis Don, LLB Management Group Inc. (Retirement Home), Lady Dunn Health Centre Wawa, Ontario Finnish Rest Home, St. Joseph’s General Hospital Elliot Lake-Service and Office and Technical/Oaks Centre, Elliot Lake and Hillside Park Retirement Residence Elliot Lake.
Unifor is Canada’s largest private sector union, with more than 300,000 members across the country, working in nearly every major sector of the economy. Founded Labour Day weekend in 2013 by the joining together of the Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, Unifor is dedicated to improving the lives of all working Canadians. www.unifor1359.org



  1. Ho-hum. Here we go with the union rhetoric again. Just have the Libs open our wallets and give them more money. That’s all they want. Increased union membership and increased wages to pay for increased union memberships. Of course, they will disguise this as something else…fear-mongering so the Hamlet villagers can’t sleep at night. Pay them the same as what Toronto pays theirs, because we don’t want to them to move to Toronto….yes, there will be a mass exodus, I’m sure. Open more stations with more equipment, maybe next to every Tim Hortons on every street corner, even though the population keeps dwindling dramatically each and every year. Ho-hum…

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