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March 10, 2010

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Minister rejects offer from paramedics

VICTORIA – Health Services Minister Kevin Falcon was quick to reject union efforts to secure a contract for the province’s 3,500 ambulance paramedics. Falcon did admit that the ambulance service is broken and needs fixing, which the union has been saying for the past four years.

In a bid for a new contract after more than a year of on-again off-again talks, the Ambulance Paramedics of BC leadership had suggested rolling over the current collective agreement until April 1, 2012. CUPE 873 president John Strohmaier said the move could have provided “some much needed stability to ambulance paramedics while we all work to improve the ambulance service.”

The current collective agreement expires March 31 and the union and BC Ambulance Service had been meeting regularly at the bargaining table since mid- December. No further talks are scheduled.

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