Presidents Message

Sisters and brothers,

Another winter has passed us by and we are getting ready for the summer months and all the activities that come with that. Here is an update on some business, old and new.

Now that the arbitration hearing is over and we won a decisive victory in regards to ANB’s language plan, our journey still continues. ANB (government) has made a decision to ignore the ruling, and is now requesting a judicial review of that decision. In other words we now have to battle this in court. CUPE has assured us that they will put everything they have into this fight, up to and including a supreme court challenge. In the meantime 4848 will be taking ANB to the labor board to try and make them comply with the arbitrator’s ruling on the grievance, until such time a judge says otherwise. This is a great victory for us and one we will hold onto and not let go. Remember this was on equality and fairness for all our members. This was not a grievance on language as a whole. 4848 fully supports the bilingual act in this province, the interpretation of some aspects of the act the we do not.

Vacation is a very important benefit for us all. With the new rules coming into play we know this will be a challenge to say the least. There was information put out there about the 6-month TA’s being extended another two months, ending in September instead of July. This was something we talked about at labour management thinking this would make granting vacation easier. After taking a harder look at it, it was decided not to do this as it caused more hardship then not. The new rules being put into place are there to try and prevent so many trucks from going out of service in the summer months. ANB took a lot of bad press last summer from trucks being unstaffed due to granting vacation, and then not being able to cover a lot of sick calls. We clearly have a staffing issue. It is not the Local’s job to fix this…its ANB’s. There is a MOU on the vacation, however your executive has not signed it. We cannot agree to some of the terms in it. A second MOU has been drafted and signed by the executive, this one is on granting Over Time when it comes to short notice vacation. So, if you give 2 weeks’ notice for a vacation day and it cannot be covered with a PT or casual then the OM will go to Over Time….no questions asked. This is something we had, lost it, now have again, signed on paper.

The MOU on the uniforms is almost completed. There were a few more items we wanted to see on the list before going ahead and starting this new benefit. We feel once this is completed and out and rolling it will be a good benefit for the most part. There is a committee set up on this so I will leave it at that , and they will be coming out with all the details shortly.

Emergency call out in Telestaff has been changed to 12 hrs from 7. The board pushed this until they agreed, this may help in staffing for short notice leave.

There will soon be changes to Telestaff and the way shifts are being called out. The issue lies around offers being made and if they are equitable or not. We now have 3 different classifications, paramedics, paramedic coordinators, and ACP’s.  In order to make this fair, we had to go to “An Offer Is An Offer” and you drop on all lists when you get that offer, no matter where it is. This was the only way to make it as fair as possible as there is a great deal of medics who are on two lists and some on all three lists, who could get multiple offers over someone on one list. So, you may want to take your name off of stations you don’t or rarely work at. If you are still not clear on this please contact a board member or myself and will further explain. This will go live mid June.

We are also working on the current practice of how coordinators are being replaced with acting coordinators. There have been situations where an acting, or full time coordinator has worked OT while some of our members are not getting there hours. This has been flagged to ANB and we are not in agreement with this what so ever, and have asked that this be fixed asap. ANB has agreed to look at the scheduling of acting coordinators to make sure they are in the proper position to cover coordinator’s when needed, so that the proper call out process is in place.

Anyone volunteering to stay beyond there shift to staff a truck and their shift is extended beyond 2 hours will qualify for a meal as in our collective. We finally got this agreement after much debate from both sides. There will be a MOU on this.

Thank you once again for all your hard work and the support you have shown this executive. We will continue to put your interests first and be accountable to you the membership in all that we do.

Please don’t hesitate to contact myself or one of the board members if you have any questions or concerns.

Bye for now
In Solidarity


Greg McConaghy
CUPE Local 4848