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Mediation Requested by Ambulance Workers

Nipawin – After working for nearly two years to try to negotiate their first contract with NorthEast Emergency Medical Services (NorthEast EMS), a private sector ambulance company serving Nipawin and Carrot River, ambulance workers are asking for a provincial mediator in an effort to conclude an agreement.

“The Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan was certified in December, 2010 as the bargaining agent for twenty EMTs and Paramedics employed at NorthEast EMS. Since then these specialized professionals have attempted to negotiate a first contract, but the private sector employer has failed to bargain in good faith, refusing to even meet for months on end, and refusing to respond to detailed contract proposals,” Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan President Karen Wasylenko said.

“In an effort to conclude contract negotiations, our members have written to the employer seeking his agreement to send these negotiations to mediation. It is our members’ hope that an independent third party will be able to get this employer to the table, and encourage the completion of a fair and reasonable contract,” Wasylenko added.

The Kelsey Trail Health Region, which contracts ambulance services from NorthEast EMS, serves more than 42-thousand residents. The region’s various ambulance services respond to more than 18-hundred emergency calls a year, and handle more than 25-hundred patient transfers.

“In the nearly two years since certification, the employer has yet to provide his ambulance service professionals with an acceptable contract proposal. The employees provided their latest detailed proposal on May 16th – some four months ago – but the employer has yet to respond, and has not indicated a willingness to agree to a date for further meetings. This kind of bad faith negotiation can’t go on forever. Our members feel an independent third party is required to try to finalize these negotiations,” Wasylenko concluded.

Health Sciences represents more than three-thousand specialized health care professionals from more than thirty professions. Members include: Emergency care workers like Paramedics; Acute care workers like Hospital Pharmacists, Perfusionists, and Respiratory Therapists; Rehab professionals like Physical Therapists and Speech Language Pathologists; and Community- based professionals like Public Health Inspectors, Psychologists and Social Workers.

For Further Information Contact:

Kate Robinson (Communications, Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan)
306-221-6316

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