A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster on Nov. 29, 2020. The paramedics union has reached a tentative new agreement with BCEHS and the province as of Jan. 6, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster on Nov. 29, 2020. The paramedics union has reached a tentative new agreement with BCEHS and the province as of Jan. 6, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. paramedics union, province agree on tentative new contract

Members will decide whether to ratify it or not over coming weeks

The union representing more than 4,500 paramedics and emergency dispatchers in B.C. and the provincial government reached a tentative deal on a new contract Friday (Jan. 6).

The announcement comes after more than nine months of negotiations between the Ambulance Paramedics of BC, its employer BC Emergency Health Services and the province, with their last collective agreement having expired on April 1, 2022.

Details of the potential new deal aren’t being released yet, as it’s now up to members of the union to vote on whether they want to ratify it or not. Ambulance Paramedics of BC said in a news release this will happen over the coming weeks.

Union president Troy Clifford did say that the new deal will acknowledge the unique challenges of the profession.

“Our members and service have been undervalued for years, making it impossible to keep up with recruitment and retention of highly trained paramedics and dispatchers. This has affected our ability to respond to people in their time of need. We have[n’t] been acknowledged appropriately for a long time, and our service has deteriorated as a result.”

READ ALSO: ‘It’s a broken system,’ say emergency responders about B.C.’s rural paramedic shortages

READ ALSO: Lower Mainland paramedics warn ambulance service critically understaffed


@janeskrypnek
jane.skrypnek@blackpress.ca

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