Code 3 Newsletter July 2022
June brought many of the same challenges and frustrations for us all. You continue to step up under incredible shortages and impacts on your well-being, and for that, I can never express enough thanks and gratitude. You are the reason we have persevered to sustain our ambulance service for our patients, the public, our members, and our families.
We are already well into the increased summer call volumes associated with environmental pressures such as flooding and heat- all of which significantly stress our service and members.
I remain very concerned for our members and their well-being and what is looking like more of the same for our service and profession. We have seen very few improvements with payroll, scheduling/WFM, recruitment, retention, health and wellness, fatigue management, and OOS levels in every corner of this province.
As you are aware, despite the union’s efforts to convince BCEHS of the failures of SOC, we have had no formal acknowledgement of moving on from this failed exercise. We have proposed multiple plans and meaningful solutions; however, despite some admission by BCEHS Senior Leadership, we have been unsuccessful in getting BCEHS and HEABC to work on addressing the well-needed changes. We have served the employer notice that SOC will be phased out under Article 27 of the MOU.
We continue to balance preparation for strategic bargaining while ensuring BCEHS and the Ministry of Health implement all their commitments made since last summer. In conjunction with dealing with a failed SOC model and ESA compliance, we are dealing with many labour relations challenges. Despite talking to the MOH, we still have no mandatory sick days for on-call members and full 100% for FT and RFT.
We are being strategic and will influence every opportunity we can. You have empowered your leadership, and we are not wavering. We have significant challenges ahead with the state of cost of living vs how far we have lagged behind; this is the reality.
More than ever, we must keep the pressure on in all areas as we prepare for bargaining as part of our broad, multi-faceted strategy, which includes an extensive cost-share and media campaign with CUPE National to coincide with the lead-up to bargaining. We are exposing staffing and resource shortages in every corner of BC, wage disparities, cost of living shortfalls, occupational stress injuries, and operational issues such as scheduling/WFM, Payroll, HR/TA failures, etc., which are significantly impacting the delivery of Paramedics services in BC.
This summer and fall will be some of the most challenging times we have experienced. We will need to be there for each other. I want you to be reassured that your elected leadership and bargaining committees are working closely. We will be moving ahead with a formal notice to begin negotiations and ensuing bargaining, ensuring the greatest collective agreement for us all.
To ensure you receive your union’s communications and information, we need every member to ensure your contacts are updated by registering on the new APBC.ca website. Once done, you can access and complete the bargaining survey. The time for all hands-on deck is now. Without you, we cannot meet the many challenges we face, which are crucial for our patients, the public, the membership, the service and the profession.
Thank you for all you do, and be safe.
Ambulance Paramedics of BC