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Province of British Columbia: Commission To Review Ambulance Service Bargaining
[November 04, 2009]

Province of British Columbia: Commission To Review Ambulance Service Bargaining

VICTORIA, Nov 04, 2009 (M2 PRESSWIRE via COMTEX) -- Labour Minister Murray Coell today announced that he will appoint an Industrial Inquiry Commission to put forward options for a new bargaining structure for ambulance paramedics and dispatchers in the province.

'The collective bargaining system for the provincial ambulance service is clearly broken and has stood in the way of the parties achieving a negotiated collective agreement,' Coell said. 'It is our hope that, through this commission, we can achieve a better model that will ensure British Columbia maintains an ambulance service that meets the needs of paramedics and patients alike.' The intention to appoint an Industrial Inquiry Commission follows introduction of legislation to end to a seven-month strike by 3,600 ambulance paramedics and dispatchers represented by CUPE Local 873.

Coell will consult with the B.C. Ambulance Service and the union representing paramedics and dispatchers to identify potential candidates for the commission over the next two weeks. He also said he is open to receiving input from both parties on the terms of reference he will establish for the commission. 'The parties did discuss terms of reference in late September and were able to reach agreement on some of the items for review with the assistance of a Labour Relations Board mediator,' Coell said.

The Industrial Inquiry Commission will be expected to report back to government with options for repairing the broken labour relations structure within the ambulance service by Dec. 15, 2009.

Under the British Columbia Labour Relations Code, the Minister of Labour can appoint an Industrial Inquiry Commission to maintain or secure labour relations stability and to promote conditions leading to the settlement of disputes. These commissions work with a specific mandate from the minister.

CONTACT: Gordon Williams, Communications Director, Ministry of Labour, Province of British Columbia Tel: +1 250 387 3134 Tel: +1 250 413 7316 ((M2 Communications disclaims all liability for information provided within M2 PressWIRE. Data supplied by named party/parties. Further information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at on the world wide web. Inquiries to [email protected].

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