Unifor Local 1359 (Paramedics) Labour Disruption Update

ambulance paramedics
file photo

The City of Sault Ste Marie released the following statement in regards to Unifor Local 1359 (Paramedics) labour Disruption.

Representatives from the City of Sault Ste. Marie and Unifor Local 1359 (Paramedics) met in Toronto yesterday before the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) to discuss and present the terms and conditions of the Essential Service Agreement (ESA).

The OLRB ruling is expected no earlier than today but anticipated no later than Monday, April 9, 2018. The City wants to assure the public that any paramedic work that is affected due to the work stoppage is subject to the conditions of an ESA – all critical and emergency calls will be addressed and responded to. If there is no resolve to contract negotiations and an award for an ESA is presented, Unifor Local 1359 indicates it may proceed with a labour disruption.

The City has presented an offer that is fair to its EMS employees and affordable to the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie. While the City’s current Emergency Medical Services collective agreement is already one of the best in Northern Ontario, the new offer includes an increase in wages, introduction of shift premiums, paid meal breaks and additional benefit enhancements.

To prevent a work stoppage and a disruption to the community, the City continues to argue to put its differences before an arbitrator to deliver a neutral third party judgement based on
comparator data.

As in past practice, the City believes that the most responsible and fair course of action towards a resolution that would satisfy the continued safety of the community is to meet with an arbitrator and has formally asked Unifor to agree.

In spite of this offer that Unifor continues to reject, Unifor is proceeding with plans for a labour disruption.

The City will continue to seek a negotiated settlement but warn that once a ruling is made and an ESA is in place, Unifor Local 1359 may proceed with a labour disruption.

The City of Sault Ste. Marie values the important work paramedics do and will continue to
negotiate an agreement in a responsible manner that is fair to our employees and affordable to the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie.

Further information will be available to the public as appropriate and on the City’s website at saultstemarie.ca.