Unifor Local 1359 EMS plan rally as bargaining with city drags on

Civic Centre


Unifor Local 1359 is requesting the support of citizens of Sault Ste. Marie, Local 1359 membership as well as the support of all our Sister’s and Brother’s in the Labour movement.  We need full participation at an information rally taking place, Monday, January 22, 2018 at Sault Ste. Marie City Hall at 3:30pm.

We will continue to rally in front of city hall until The City of Sault Ste. Marie realizes we are not going anywhere until we are able to take back a fair a respectful agreement that the negotiating committee can recommend ratification.

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% 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 “We met with the conciliator on January 12, 2018 to which the employer took the position that the 54 Paramedics did not have the legal right to strike and were covered under the Hospital Labour Disputes Arbitration Act (HLDAA). The conciliator briefly corrected the employer advising them that the “54 Paramedics” are not covered under HLDAA and have the right to strike.”  The parties have agreed to meet again with the conciliator January 25, 26th to discuss further. “Hopefully the conciliation officer can help the parties get a negotiated deal and that services won’t be affected in the future” stated Lessard-Brown.

“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.”

Help us send a strong message to Sault Ste. Marie City Council that our paramedics want and need a fair contract!


Unifor Local 1359 has over 1359 members and represents the City of Sault Ste. Marie Paramedics, ARCH Hospice, 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.


  1. I wonder what the problem is with this contract negotiation. Are we ready for striking paramedics and the risks to our families? Do we know the details of what the Unifor group is requesting in this contract? What are the costs incurred when our city continuously chooses to negotiate with their employees? Could someone enlighten us on some of this?

Comments are closed.