BC paramedics petition to be deemed an essential service

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VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Those behind an initiative to amend the Fire and Police Services Bargaining Act to include BC paramedics and dispatchers hopes to gain more attention with a petition.

As it stands now, paramedics are not considered as an essential service.

Troy, a paramedic who spoke to NEWS 1130, says deeming them an essential service, would mean the elimination of labour disputes. He hopes that would mean the end of lockouts and strikes — which would help protect the public when emergencies happen.

“We don’t ever want to withhold those services from the public. We love our jobs, we want to help the public, that’s what we’re there for and we just don’t want to be able to have this used as a tool to be used against the public, so that’s the big thing.”

He says In order for this petition to move forward, they need support from 10 per cent of registered voters in 85 electoral districts in BC — and they only have until April to make that happen.

The amended act would be called the Ambulance, Fire and Police Services Collective Bargaining Act.