Sponsors: District of Hudson's Hope
NCLGA Executive Recommendation: No Recommendation
WHEREAS many remote and rural municipalities experience a shortage of qualified ambulance staff and this puts these municipalities in danger of not having the service when they need it the most; and
AND WHEREAS many rural ambulance stations only provide on-call coverage with no guaranteed shifts for staff and the on-call rate of $2/hr is not a sufficient rate for paramedics to make the income needed to be self- sufficient:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the UBCM petition the BC government to work with the provincial bargaining body and with BC ambulance in the next round of provincial collective agreement bargaining to ensure that BC ambulance staff have on-call rates of pay comparable with other health science professionals i.e.: lab technologists, radiation technologists, nurses etc.
This has been an issue that has been brought forward to NCLGA and UBCM on a number of occasions, since the 2000 NCLGA conference. The on-call rate has not been changed and the responses from the BC Government are not satisfactory in our opinion. The following resolutions were previously submitted to NCLGA:
Resolution 2000-B93; submitted by Mackenzie; endorsed; no response received
Resolution 2006-B48; submitted by AKBLG Executive; endorsed; response received from Ministry of Health
Resolution 2009-B68; submitted by New Denver; referred to UBCM executive
Due to time constraints, resolution 2009-B68 was not debated at the UBCM Annual Convention and was referred automatically to the UBCM Executive for consideration. Resolution 2009-B68 asked the provincial government and BC Ambulance Service to increase the stand-by and on-call pay rates and honorarium for volunteer or part-time ambulance staff paramedics in rural and remote communities. Upon consideration, the UBCM Executive determined that no action was required.
In its comments on resolution 2009-B68, the UBCM Resolutions Committee acknowledged that recruitment and retention of volunteer ambulance attendants was long standing issue, made more complex by differences in pay rates depending on where ambulance attendants are based in BC. The Committee referenced labour negotiations under way at the time between the Province and ambulance attendants, and because of the negotiations, declined to comment further on the rate of pay of volunteer ambulance attendants.