Tuesday, January 27, 2009


When you read the stories about a possible strike by paramedics here on B.C., be sure to read the fine print.

If this job action does, in fact, occur, ambulances would not be parked. Paramedics fall under the province's essential-service law.

However, the public would be effected.

The workers are asking for parity with the police, which means a 31% wage hike.

The province is offering 2%.

Clearly, they are both out of their trees.

My basic sympathies are with the paramedics. They do great work and they are, time and time again, amazing in their calm, smooth professionalism under often dreadful circumstances.

But 31% is not going to go over with a world in financial mourning. How about 18%?

And the government's 2% offering is sheer insult.

Let's hope some good old common sense and reasonableness prevail -and quickly.


Anonymous said...

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.

Anonymous said...

Well, Dave. Some conservatives like to tell you that these professional men and women are greedy bastards who are eating up most of our taxes. I give those conservatives the middle finger. Sure, their demand could put pressure on our budget. But they are not the ones who actually got us in trouble. To be fair and square, our democratically elected, but often unchecked government allowed the economy to dwindle while innocent, hard-working people are taking the blame for asking just a little bit more. Who squandered most of our tax money? The paramedics?
The root problem lies with politicians. Once again, they are not working for us. They are not taking care of us first, but their business friends, the so-called elites. We are secondary on the politicans'list to be taken care of. That is a shame.

Perhaps it's time to bail out politicans' conscience.


Anonymous said...

At the nursing home where I work, we sometimes have to call the paramedics for various medical emergencies - from broken hips to sudden acute symptoms in otherwise stable individuals.

I love paramedics. They are prompt, professional with our staff, respectful and caring to the patients and simply bring a calm sense of leadership with them.

I think an 18% wage increase for them would be well deserved.

Linda Yuill, LPN