On Wednesday, Paramedic and Dispatcher Unions from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI met for the first time in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to discuss issues paramedics and dispatchers are facing in their provinces. Ambulance services in each of these provinces are operated by Medavie.
“At the end of the day, our goal is to do the best we can for our paramedics and dispatchers and to provide the best possible care to our communities. This meeting was a great tool for our provinces in achieving that.” Says Jason Woodbury, President of CUPE 3324, representing PEI paramedical workers.
This year’s Maritime Paramedic Union Conference was hosted in Halifax by the union representing Nova Scotia paramedics, the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 727. The intention is that this will be an annual conference, with next year’s being hosted by CUPE 3324 in PEI.
Each province was given the opportunity to present on issues paramedics and dispatchers in their areas are facing, followed by a round table on the issues discussed. Topics included offload delays, half-staffed and out of service ambulances, inherent overtime caused by these delays, missed meals, paramedic burnout, low morale and more.
“Increased workload, off Island transfers and equipment resources continue to be a constant concern affecting employee morale and public safety,” says Woodbury.