July 23, 2013 at 5:26 PM
AMBULANCE PARAMEDICS FRUSTRATED THAT EMPLOYER PAYROLL SYSTEM NOT FUNCTIONING PROPERLY
Vancouver, B.C. – The Ambulance Paramedics of British Columbia (APBC), CUPE Local 873 is urging the British Columbia Ambulance Service (BCAS) and the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) to address the significant shortcomings of a new payroll system imposed on Paramedics resulting in them not being paid for their work.
On June 21, 2013, the employer, the BCAS, began using a new payroll system, one integrated with the PHSA payroll and scheduling system. The new system has not been able to pay Paramedics properly, and in some cases, at all.
Some impacts on Paramedics include:
• Paramedics have not been paid their regular wages
• part time Paramedics not being paid for call out work
• arbitrary adjustments of pay rate calculations for Paramedics
• supervisory staff not paid correctly
“Patient care is always, and will remain, our top priority – our members are there, day in and day out serving British Columbian’s in their time of need,” said Bronwyn Barter, President of APBC. “But we need the employer to do their job and ensure Paramedics are paid for the valuable work they do. We are frustrated that the employer hasn’t made this issue a priority, and taken immediate steps to correct it.”
“Saving lives is important to us, but like everyone, the Paramedics have to take care of their own families and pay their mortgages and bills,” added Barter. “There comes a point when it just isn’t fair.”
APBC provided ongoing and specific input to the BCAS well in advance of implementation about challenges with the system. In addition, APBC provided specific guidance on how to avoid and even eliminate impacts on members.
Back-up systems to provide timely payment of earnings to Paramedics have not been adequate. As a result, APBC is seeking legal counsel to better understand the legal context for ambulance paramedics working and providing care to patients without agreed upon pay or, in some case, any pay. Conditions for payment for work performed are also clearly laid out in the collective agreement with the employer; APBC is also reviewing that agreement.
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