Click HERE for this month’s newsletter.

I will try to capture and put the current state of our service and profession in perspective. We have seen no meaningful relief in so many areas; payroll, scheduling, recruitment, retention, wellness, fatigue, and OOS levels in every corner of this province.
We are operating in crisis mode every day.
How long will it take? The urgency is well past; we need immediate action and response. You and your union have stepped up to work collaboratively in every aspect; we have been patient solution-based, but the progress has been too slow and not translated to the frontlines at the levels we need. The Government announcements/commitments and joint initiatives must be immediately implemented. These fundamental programs are essential for providing timely access to community and emergency paramedic services in BC.As you know, we are in a legal position to begin formal bargaining. However, we have not served formal notice as there are several outstanding items stemming from the last round of bargaining, such as the ESA, ESO, JIC initiatives, SOC MOU/Review, RRIF/Surge additional resources and positions, and joint initiatives that have flown from the Government’s announcements and commitments from July 14th and Dec 3rd, 2021.There are many more dynamics and components to bargaining; the work, processes and preparation have been ongoing and well underway. We are being strategic to leverage every opportunity we can. Your bargaining committee and leadership have been meeting and preparing, and we will be ready to officially move to the bargaining table at a time of our choosing.We continue to work through the Essential Service Orders (ESO) as a requirement under the labour code which has been significantly hampered by our extreme levels of OOS data. We are also working on addressing the well-documented changes in the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and its implications as of April 1st and into our next Collective Agreement, which the employer has failed to implement.Your PEC/PEB directors and bargaining committees meet weekly and prepare, including training, strategic planning, survey, data disclosures, resolutions, case law, and legal requirements. In parallel, we meet weekly with BCEHS senior leadership to work collaboratively on the agreed-to joint initiatives that put our members’ concerns first.

This past week at the CUPE BC convention, I was able to meet with many public sector leaders, legal counsel, Minister Dix and Minster Bains to discuss our current state and pressures; I am confident this Government understands our plight; however, we will keep the advocacy and pressure on. Our team of delegates was able to hear from Premier Horgan, who reinforced his recognition of the vital work we continue to do on the frontlines. We were also able to meet and advocate for our challenges with community allies in labour.

Rest assured your leadership and bargaining committees are working closely. We will be moving ahead with formal notice and bargaining in a strategic manner that will ensure the opportunity for the most significant collective agreement for us all. We need and continue to ask for all hands-on deck to meet the many challenges we face; we believe we need to ensure the foundations and Government commitments made over the past years are implemented and followed through with as we head into bargaining. We firmly believe this is crucial for our patients, the public, the membership, the service and the profession.

Thank you for all you do, and be safe.In Solidarity,

Troy Clifford
Provincial President
Ambulance Paramedics of BC