President’s Message

Sisters and Brothers,

Another year has come and gone, and we find ourselves in 2019. I hope everyone is doing ok, and all is well with your family. For the many that made New Year’s resolutions, well there’s always next year… and the many that didn’t…. we’ve been there before I’m sure.

The double OT ceased on January 18thand the data we have compiled in relationto this is very interesting. We used some of this information when we met with the Finance Minister on February 12th. We askedthe Minister for an immediate wage adjustment for paramedics and dispatchers as part of the recruitment and retention campaign, and also to reconfirm their commitment to a wage adjustment made to me in ameeting last year with the Health Minister. It was a productive meeting, but no promises were made. We told the Minister specifically how bad it is currently at MCMC. A pay raise will bring nothing but good to the system. It will attract many more people who are thinking about EMS for a career.  It will stop dispatchers and paramedics from leaving for jobs paying the same wage with a lot less stress and responsibility. I am asking you to stand behind us, the Union, the Board and your Station VPs once again, to get this done.

The transfer system is finally here. There have been some bumps along the way and I know some weren’t happy on how the process was played out. Overall, we believe this was the fairest for all involved. There are still a lot of “what ifs”, the biggest being “will I do 911 calls if I’m full time on a transfer truck?” It was made quite clear you will be if there are a lot of trucks OOS. In saying that, I believe ANB will do everything possible to make sure this doesn’t happen in order for the transfer system to be successful. Sisters and Brothers, this is a new system and there will be many changes along the way. Please keep this in mind for the future. The call out process will be the same for staffing trucks on OT.  Paramedics can work either the 911 or transfer trucks.

The direction from the Minister of Health in his letter to ANB regarding filling postings permanently that are continually posted as temps will be dealt with after the transfer system is put into place on March 7th. The McEvoy decision on our arbitration case is currently in the courts and we are waiting for a ruling.  In the meantime, all temporary positions are frozen. Basically, what the letter is saying is that all temporary bilingual postings will be filled permanently by seniority, and in the event a successful qualified applicant applies when the position is posted, the medic in the seat will still hold full time status in an area agreed to by both sides. So much to do on that file before all is finalized.

MCMC is experiencing a staff shortage not unlike the field, but possibly even worse. Dispatchers are continually doubling up on their workload, missing meal breaks, vacation is very limited due to no staff, working conditions are deteriorating in there to the point staff is leaving and looking for a different career. MCMC was left out of the Double Time MOU. The Treasury Board didn’t feel it was necessary to include them at that time. This is not acceptable and it is time that this government realizes what is going on in MCMC. The noise level on the floor can be deafening at times, but the phones still have to be answered and medics have to be dispatched to the calls. The Members of MCMC are going way above and beyond to keep the system running, but I’m afraid this may not last much longer. We are going to launch a public awareness campaign for them and I’m asking that all 4848 members support this. We are all sisters and brothers fighting for better working conditions and better wages. So please, when talking with your dispatcher, try and remember they have OMs on them all the time.  They’re going in every direction to try and follow all the policies and best practices in front of them. If you’re not getting a quick response from them, it is probably because they are doubled up and answering a 911 call. Let’s be more mindful of this. Let’s talk to each other in a respectful way.  We all have bad days but we must not take this out on each other, MCMC or the Field.

A quick reminder on chute times: management has reported the chute times are increasing drastically. I’m worried if this doesn’t improve, we will see even more roadside posts which we fought hard to do away with, so let’s make sure we get on the road quickly and bring the times back down to where they should be.

The ACPs are doing a great job and seemed to be fitting in well. They have their own issues also, from vacation to scheduling, which will be addressed once the transfer system is put into place. I’m hearing good things on how they are interacting with the PCPs and vice versa. Not much to report on the RRUs at this time.

Thank you all for your dedication to your profession.  Without that I’m sure we would be in a place nobody wants to be. The Executive Board, your station VPs and I are always available for you… don’t hesitate to reach out.

In Solidarity

Greg McConaghy
CUPE L4848