Friday, February 3, 2017

BC's Paramedics look to join police and fire responders as part of the provincial Bargaining Act

North Coast paramedics are joining their fellow workers across the province in seeking the support of the public to have their occupation included as part of the Provincial Bargaining Act.

Since January paramedics across the province have launched a petition drive as they look to gain the signatures required from British Columbians to move their quest ahead.

The initiative that they have launched is designed to seek an amendment to the current Fire and Police Bargaining Act, with organizers ready to make their case to include ambulance paramedics and dispatchers to the ranks of those covered by the legislation.

The paramedics and their dispatchers are looking to have their unit taken out of its current status under the facilities bargaining act and placed under the terms of an new Act, one that would encompass "Police, Fire and Ambulance Paramedics and Dispatchers"

Towards achieving that change local organizers with the paramedics will be approaching residents of the North Coast district and will look to receive the support from at least ten percent of all registered voters. The petition campaign will continue through until April 11th.

Should they find success in reaching that ten percent threshold at the end of the campaign, the provincial government would then have two options to consider.

The first option would be one that would see the province accept the results and change the legislation, while the second option would be to send the issue to a larger province wide vote.

One of the main outcomes of the shift to the Police and Fire Act would be the designation of the Paramedics and dispatchers as an essential service, a shift in their labour status which would protect the public from service interruptions.

Raising awareness on that theme of an essential service may be the best approach that the paramedics could take over the course of the next two months. The fact that they aren't currently included under that designation, may prove to be the biggest surprise for those that the paramedics approach to sign the petition.

Paramedics on the North Coast are joining others across the province
in a petition initiative to have their jobs declared an essential service and
moved to a new provincial Act to join police and fire personnel

You can find out more information about what the paramedics and their dispatchers are hoping to accomplish from the website,  a quick look around the material offers up more background and explains how you can help out with their initiative.

A key element towards their efforts is the need to get more help in canvassing the community to help get those signatures in place, from this link you can find out more about that process. If you are a registered voter in the province of British Columbia you can add your name to the list of those willing to lend a hand.

Once you fill in the information required, someone from the North Coast group will be in contact to explain how the process will move ahead across the region.

The Elections BC website outlines the mechanics of the petition process for the Paramedics as they look to bring the vote home, you can explore some of the key benchmarks and the timeline for the initiative here.

Some background notes on the current campaign can be found from the media items listed below:

January 31 -- Paramedics push for essential services designation in B.C.
January 28 -- BC paramedics aren't an essential service, but some of them want to be
January 26 -- B.C. paramedics launch formal drive to be considered an essential service
January 22 -- B.C. paramedics petition to be deemed an essential service

More items of note related to the work of NorthWest Emergency Responders can be found on our archive page here.

Update: North Coast Paramedics will be providing information on their petition at Canada Safeway this Saturday from 12 to 3.

They will also have a table set up at the All Native Basketball tournament at mid February.

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