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.”