I apologize as it has been a few weeks since my last message has gone out but your Local Executive has been quite busy over the last few weeks. I wanted to try and get as much information out to you as best we could.
It is with great sadness that our local was made aware of the passing of recently retired Paramedic June Elizabeth McKay on September 22nd, 2020.
The local sends our deepest sympathies to her family, friends and colleagues who worked with her over the years. June dedicated over 30 years of her life to helping the community of Hampton as well as a member of Ambulance NB when it was formed in 2007. Her willingness and dedication to help others will never be forgotten.
As we are aware, we have some members self-isolating as a precaution at this time. This local sends support to all members affected by this and if anyone wishes to reach out please free to do so.
With the mandatory mask order in place for all public buildings / gatherings, we must make sure we are doing our best as well. I understand the frustration with the increased mask wearing; however it is our job to ensure we are not responsible for spreading this virus and realize that most of these directions are coming from the Pandemic Task Force or our Premier.
With two regions now returning to “Pandemic Recovery Level Orange”, we can see how quickly things can change if we become relaxed.
We had a great convention but it definitely had a different feel to it with masks and social distancing and some staff on Zoom. It was one for the history books.
As this was our first time the Station VP’s were able to get together, we were able to hold elections.
The 2-year term for President was up this year and I have been elected as your President. I will continue to do my best for all members as long as I have the authority to do so.
With my election to President, the Vice-president position was vacated and I am proud to announce that Chris Wall was elected for the remainder of the 2-year term. The Recording secretary term was up and Joe Cormier has been re-elected. With Chris Wall’s election that vacated the South Regional President position, Denny Cogswell has been elected by caucus choice for the remaining 2-year term.
I want to congratulate all members who were elected into all positions and trust we can work together to move our members forward.
The local has reached out to newly appointed Health Minister Dorothy Shepard, and to Premier Higgs, as well as the Paramedic Association of New Brunswick to request a meeting so we can address issues around our Paramedics and Dispatchers. We are looking forward to their reply.
We will also try to move forward on all issues that were brought up on the floor from your respective Station VP’s.
Labour Board Hearing
Information is still being collected from the parties involved. At this time, not all information that was requested has been released to CUPE and the first dates that were assigned for the hearing (November 4 – 6) may be pushed back, although it has not been confirmed as of yet.
Where the parties have all agreed to hold this hearing virtually, you can go to the Labour and Employment Board website and get a copy of the “COVID-19 Directives for Hearings at the Labour and Employment Board”.
There have been questions asked about streaming and/or recording the hearing. The board has strict rules surrounding this. An excerpt has been made available below.
Excerpt: Covid-19 Directives for Hearings at the Labour and Employment Board
II VIRTUAL HEARING PROTOCOL
During the Proceeding
6. The Board prohibits recording of proceedings. Do not record any part of the proceeding – this
includes taking screen shots and recording conversations.
Virtual Hearing Considerations
10. Public access to video hearings will be available, either by video or audio as practicable, by
making advance arrangements with the Board.
I want to remind Dispatchers and Paramedics that we are all in this together as we continue to work through this pandemic and deal with the endless changes. We are seeing an increase of calls around mental health and we all strive to do our best for our communities in these times of uncertainty.
Although we want to help others, we also need to ensure our physical and mental health is in check.
I would like to remind you there are many programs available and I encourage any member to reach out if you ever feel the need, this includes family, friends and members of this Executive.
I am extremely proud of the service you all do each and every day and keep up the great work.
President, Local 4848