Tuesday, January 27, 2009


As a recently retired paramedic I, of course, side with my former colleagues.

They are grossly under managed by a cadre of "old timers" or those brought up by the old timers. Their management style is still a hierarchal one with those near the top getting all the support and consideration while those at the lower levels are still looked on as "part time wannabes". Hence the governments disdain and offering only 2%. They never get to know the real side of the story.

Government has always looked on and used the BC Ambulance Service as a "cost over run buffer" for their screw ups in other areas of health care. Their budgets are constantly being raided by other ministries or areas within the health ministry. Their managers are very inept at getting and retaining planning and operating funds and never know what to do with what they've got because it comes at them in unplanned for dribs and drabs.

Having said that the Union Management side of the equation isn't much better. There isn't a professional manager within the organization and that's why they are asking today for such a high raise. It's to try and make up for the way they have been held back by an uncaring health ministry for the last 14 years. Unfortunately they won't get it. The unprofessional union negotiators will again be fooled by their professional negotiators and the hard working paramedics will again bear the brunt of this ineptitude.

Paramedics deserve to be paid as much as any policeman and deserve the respect that so often alludes them. This eludes then due to the fact that they are seldom seen at the "scene of the crime" so to speak. By the time the media arrives to tell the story the paramedics have already been and gone, off to the hospital and performing unsung miracles en route. Paramedics face life and death situations almost every shift where a policeman might only encounter one occasionally.

It's certainly time that they were re-reimbursed for their sacrifices and skills. 18% would be a good starting point.

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