HSABC respecting paramedic picket lines in B.C.

'Protected under the collective agreement against disciplinary action for failure to cross a legal picket line.'

Vancouver (2 April 2009) - The Health Sciences Association of B.C. (HSABC/NUPGE) is urging members to respect picket lines wherever they are encountered in the current dispute involving ambulance paramedics across British Columbia.

After the paramedics reached a legal strike position on Wednesday, pickets lines went up at five main locations, including the provincial and regional headquarters of the B.C. Ambulance Service in Victoria and regional headquarters in Vancouver, Kamloops and Prince George.

Essential service legislation ensures that ambulances stay on the road but paramedics may refuse administrative or other duties. They are represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

"As part of the paramedics’ job action, picket lines may be erected at facilities where HSABC members work," HSABC says in an advisory posted on its website.

"Members who encounter a picket line are urged not to cross the picket line. HSABC members are protected under the collective agreement against disciplinary action for failure to cross a legal picket line."For further information, check the HSABC website.NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE