“…the City through their negotiators, continued with their disrespectful bargaining proposals”- UNIFOR

ambulance paramedics
file photo


Unifor Local 1359’s negotiating committee has been working over the last two days with the City’s negotiating committee to see if the parties could come to a fair and respectful agreement that the union’s negotiating committee could recommend to the membership for ratification.

Unfortunately, the City through their negotiators, continued with their disrespectful bargaining proposals which has led to an impasse and A “No Board Report” has been requested.  A strike deadline for Unifor’s 54 Paramedics – First Responders has been set for Wednesday, February 28th at 00:01 am.

The Union’s negotiating committee is determined to get a collective agreement that remains competitive with other collective agreements within the industry and nothing more.  The City and it’s negotiating committee has offered an extremely disrespectful offer forcing the 54 Paramedics into a strike position.  This means a reduction to the services the city provides to the citizens in Sault Ste. Marie.  The citizens of Sault Ste. Marie pay $85 per resident for Emergency Medical Services while the median across Northern Ontario is $187 per resident amongst our Cities nine peer comparators.

The City of Thunder Bay and surrounding area has a population of approximately 110,000 residents and they have 45 ambulances that respond to 27,000 calls.  They recently received 7.75% wage increase over the same period being proposed for your Paramedics, in order for them to remain competitive.  The City of Sault Ste. Marie has a population of approximately 80,000 residents they have 9 ambulances and respond to over 17, 000 calls last year.  The City and its negotiating committee has offered your Paramedics a wage increase of .25% each year for the same three-year period.  Given the volume of calls per ambulance that our Paramedics respond too, this is insulting and does not respect where they need to be to remain competitive in their industry.

Two years ago, the city hired four commanders which roughly cost the City between $500,000-550,000 per year and they claim they have no monies for the 54 Unifor Paramedics who are the first link to the life-saving actions in our community.  Paramedics are integral to the health and safety of all citizens of Sault Ste. Marie and they deserve a respectful, fair and competitive collective agreement.

“We are not going from one of the better collective agreement to the worst in one round of bargaining. This is madness” said Laurie Lessard-Brown, President of Unifor Local 1359.

Join us Monday, February 5, 2018 at 3:30 pm at City Hall to help us send a clear message to City Council that our Emergency First Responders-EMS deserve better.  The deserve a fair and respectful collective agreement and that we don’t want services impacted.


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. The time for whining gov’t union service employees is near an end…let them hit the streets, and let other, more qualified, intelligent private sector services step in and deliver value for money. These mindless sheep need a reality check…the taxpaying public have just about had enough…pay and pension for these individuals is way out step with what the private taxpaying public earn.

    • Burn-E … As usual you spout off your armchair grandstanding jargon, but you again fail to supply us with any information. Please fill us in on the more qualified, intelligent, private sector services that will replace these workers. You spent quite a lot of time commenting on how the firefighters don’t need so many staff. Maybe that realignment plan has produced too many medics now and they can’t afford to pay increases? Not sure about that either. But 4 commanders for 500,000, is a bit ridiculous too. I would love to hear your intelligent solution to this issue, as it would help all taxpayers out. Please fill us in.

      • Hey S-C, try looking for the pot of gold that is supposed to fund all your pie-in-the-sky wishes…do the simple math…where is the money supposed to come from? Private sector workers put money into the gov’t to pay the gov’t (overpaid unionized) workers. Only so much to go around, bud. We could quit plowing the streets and outfit the ambulance gurneys with snowmobile treads…

  2. This is not the time to be pushy with the city when they don’t have any money and this is all thanks to the global bandits the Ruia brothers of course. Wait a year and see what happens.

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