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July 24, 2009
Toronto files application to ensure Emergency Medical Services continue at required levels during strike
  
The City of Toronto today filed an application to the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) requesting that the Board enhance the current essential services agreements covering Paramedics and Emergency Medical Dispatchers.

"The City's EMS paramedic and dispatch staff are highly professional and amongst the best trained in the world," said Toronto Mayor David Miller. "It is of the utmost importance that the City's responses to the most critical calls for emergency medical service continue to be properly served."

The application has been made to ensure that the City's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) continue to deliver the level of service needed by Toronto's residents during a strike. The application requests that the number of EMS paramedics and dispatchers permitted to work during a strike be increased. This action will provide Toronto EMS with the additional ambulances needed to keep response time to the most critical calls at pre-strike levels.

If granted, the application would mean an increase of 22 ambulances on a weekday (24 hour period) and 27 more ambulances on a weekend day (24 hour period). In addition, EMS would return staff to its special operations units including the Emergency Response Units, Marine Unit and the Emergency Support Units (Ambulance buses). This increase will also permit the City to provide additional support to large special events.

This action was taken after reviewing all 26,000 EMS calls handled during the strike, and is not related to the incident on Alexander Street currently under Ministry of Health review.

The City worked within the requirements set out in the essential services agreements during the short strike in 2002. However, those agreements no longer meet the requirements of the City. The current strike has been longer than that of 2002. The demands on the service and the EMS management staff now make this application necessary.

Provincial law governs the provision of ambulance, paramedic and dispatch services during a labour disruption. The Ambulance Services Collective Bargaining Act provides ambulance, paramedic and dispatch staff with a meaningful right to strike and requires the establishment of essential services agreements. There are two EMS essential services agreements one with each union local. Toronto's Paramedics are part of the Toronto Civic Employees' Union Local 416 (CUPE) and Toronto's Emergency Medical Dispatchers are part of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 79. Both locals are on strike.

The application requests that the EMS staff permitted to work during a strike be increased as follows:

Paramedics
From the current 225 paramedics to 300 during every 24 hour period commencing 7 a.m. on Monday and ending at 7 a.m. on Saturday
From the current 175 paramedics to 250 during every 24 hour period commencing 7 a.m. on Saturday and ending at 7 a.m. on Monday

Emergency Medical Dispatchers
From the current 28 Emergency Medical Dispatchers and 4 Senior Emergency Medical Dispatchers to 32 Emergency Medical Dispatchers and 5 Senior Emergency Medical Dispatchers over a 24-hour period.

Toronto Civic Employees' Union (TCUPE) Local 416:

June 18, 2002 - Ontario Labour Relations Board Decision; on the essential services agreement pursuant to section 9 of the Ambulance Act - Toronto Civic Employees' Union Local 416
http://www.toronto.ca/labour-relations/pdf/ems-esa-416-june18.pdf

June 23, 2002 - Ontario Labour Relations Board Decision; on the essential services agreement pursuant to section 9 of the Ambulance Act - Toronto Civic Employees' Union Local 416
http://www.toronto.ca/labour-relations/pdf/ems-esa-416-june23.pdf

July 4, 2002 - Ontario Labour Relations Board Decision; on the essential services agreement pursuant to section 9 of the Ambulance Act - Toronto Civic Employees' Union Local 416
http://www.toronto.ca/labour-relations/pdf/ems-esa-416-july4.pdf

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 79:

June 27, 2002 - Ontario Labour Relations Board Decision; on the essential services agreement pursuant to section 9 of the Ambulance Act - Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 79
http://www.toronto.ca/labour-relations/pdf/ems-esa-79-june27.pdf (scanned pdf)

Media contact:
Kevin Sack (ksack@toronto.ca)
Director, Strategic Communications, City of Toronto
City of Toronto Media Relations line during the labour disruption: 416-338-7768

Public information:
Contact Access Toronto, seven days a week, 24 hours at day, at 416-338-0338 or accesstoronto@toronto.ca


 

 

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