The President of the Ambulance Paramedics of BC says the tentative deal reached with the province is one of the best contracts they’ve had in a while.
In an interview with Vista Radio, Troy Clifford said it puts them on the right track to shoring up the recruitment and retention challenges that had been plaguing them for far too long.
“It sets us on a path to reviving ambulance service that has been well needed. It is not going to solve all of our problems overnight but the challenges we had were to try and achieve this within the shared mandate of the provincial government and we were able to do that.”
“I think there is a little bit for everybody and this is really going to help with our service delivery challenges.”
He also noted the $2 an-hour on-call model, which services many rural remote areas has been shored up.
In October, the provincial government spiked on-call pay to $12 per hour as a temporary measure to stabilize the system.
“I can assure you that those temporary measures that were put in place are going to remain until we transition to the next collective agreement. But, I can assure you that issue has been addressed in this round of bargaining.”
“I am really happy with the deal and I think it goes a long way to addressing the issues. I am confident to say that the key priorities we saw as issues have been addressed.”
The previous contract expired last April.
The Ambulance Dispatchers Bargaining Association represents approximately 5,000 paramedics and ambulance dispatchers in B.C.
Details about the agreement will be available after the ratification process for the union members and the health employers is complete.