(SHERBROOKE) Already without a contract since March 31, 2015, ambulance paramedics and dispatchers of the pre-hospital sector are faced with a new negotiating dynamic that changes the rules of the game, they denounce.
The new way of working in order to renew their collective agreement declared by the Minister of Health and Social Services, Gaétan Barrette, brings “the area 30 years ago.”
In announcing its intention to withdraw from collective bargaining in favor of the consolidation of the pre-hospital sector service contracts, union members are clueless, as employers elsewhere.
This “turnaround Minister Barrette” dates back to 21 April. Before that date representatives of the Ministry had accepted a share trading materials providing a provincial table to discuss issues common to all of Quebec, as was the case in previous negotiations.
The change of direction of the government, in negotiations, has had the effect of paralyzing the negotiations in areas such as the Eastern Townships, as the companies claim to have no mandate to negotiate the ministry.
Paramedics and ambulance dispatchers prehospital sector refuse to make the cost of this unexpected decision, says the president of the Central Council of the Eastern Townships of National Trade Unions (CSN-CCSNE), Denis Beaudin.
“Currently, the provincial negotiating table, one of the important issues is the question of hours of work organization and workload. In our region both for paramedics for emergency medical dispatchers, the workload is an important issue, while for paramedics outside Sherbrooke and Magog is faction schedules that are inadequate and outdated . ”
A satisfactory sector collective agreements result in improved services and that means a negotiation provincial issues directly with the Ministry of Health and Social Services which fully funds services, adds the Vice President of the Federation of Health and social services (FSSS-CSN), Dany Lacasse.
He argues that union representatives are ready to resume negotiations with the ministry as before at any time. “By withdrawing from the negotiating table, the Minister Barrette brings us back 30 years. We can not accept this. Our 3600 members gave a mandate to negotiate provincially us because they do not want to reintroduce disparities in treatment between the regions, “he said.
“We do not believe that it is the wish of the department or even businesses. From our side we are ready to add pressure if necessary. Our action plan is ready. ”
The Union of Estrie represents 180 paramedics union (es) in the region. His vice president, Sébastien Grenier, believes that companies in the sector must take responsibility too. “When you are told by the representatives of provincial business association they have no mandate to negotiate over a year after the expiry of our collective agreements is extremely frustrating. ”
“Our employers need not wait to give the necessary orders to the Ministry and to agree once and for all with the latter that he resumes his place at the national table to address issues common to the entire Quebec prehospital sector. We will interpellate them directly, in our workplaces, and until we get satisfactory answers, “adds Mathieu Godbout, president of the Union of emergency medical dispatchers representing 25 members.