‘Livid’ B.C. paramedics say they’ve yet to see promised new pay hikes

‘Livid’ B.C. paramedics say they’ve yet to see promised new pay hikes

Nearly two weeks ago, B.C. paramedics were told about new interim pay increases aimed at improving services.

They were to take effect immediately. But this week, when paramedics checked their bank accounts, the money wasn’t there.

Ambulance Paramedics of BC union president Troy Clifford told Global News his members are “livid.”

“They are just so disappointed, disheartened. It really is the last straw,” he said.

Paramedics were promised on-call pay would increase from $2 an hour to $12 dollars an hour, and certain shifts would pay double time.

The measure came with paramedics facing a critical staffing shortage, which is leading to extensive waits for some patients.

On Facebook some paramedics are expressing their frustration.

“None of the updated terms show in my paystub. 100 hours on pager, paid at $2. Night calls at 1.5 (rate). Business as usual it seems,” one wrote.

“This is totally unacceptable but yet we joke that it was anticipated. Absolutely ridiculous,” wrote another.

The union says this is just the latest issue with their payroll system, which has left some overpaid and others paid nothing.

“Some of the underpaid ones people are receiving zero money on payday,” Clifford said. ”

One I heard about not too long ago, $27,000 somebody was overpaid, and they were like, ‘We need to claw that back.’”

B.C. Emergency Health Services, which operates the ambulance service, told Global News that time will be required to make the changes due to their complexity.

“Pay increases will be rolled out in the next three to five weeks, with all eligible payments retroactive to October 22, 2022,” the agency said in a statement.

“The Employee Services and Strategic Initiatives team at PHSA that oversees BCEHS payroll are working diligently to ensure the changes are in place as soon as possible.”

Paramedics continue to bargain with the Health Employers Association of B.C. for a new collective agreement.

Following three weeks of negotiations, paramedics say they’ve made no real progress.