Middlesex-London paramedics call for EMS upgrades – not more managers, says OPSEU | National Union of Public and General Employees

Middlesex-London paramedics call for EMS upgrades – not more managers, says OPSEU

New management positions at EMS add up to over $1 million per year.

logo for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)London (26 Sept. 2014) —Paramedics in London and Middlesex County are asking why there is no money to upgrade emergency medical services when over a million dollars is being spent on new managers.   

Third year of negotiations for 200 paramedics in London and Middlesex County without progress

More than 200 paramedics have been in negotiations with their employer for three years and are still nowhere near agreement on a new contract.

“When you see an organization suddenly get so top heavy, you know there’s a problem. It’s time for Middlesex-London Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to show some respect for the important work that paramedics do in their community,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE). 

New management positions at EMS add up to over $1 million per year

Over the past three years, four new positions have been created at Middlesex-London EMS for superintendents who earn as much as $150,000 a year and drive around in SUVs paid for by tax-payers. Job postings indicate plans to hire another two superintendents, and there are several additional administrative staff. Together, these new positions carry a price tag of over a million dollars per year.

“Paramedics are done with watching more and more managers getting hired when that money should be going to front-line services.  We should be investing in more paramedics, more ambulances, and 24-hour full-service so that residents receive quality emergency medical services as fast as possible,” said Scott Simpson, President of OPSEU Local 147, which represents the EMS workers.

“Residents of Middlesex County deserve to know that it takes longer, and will continue to take longer, for emergency services to reach them after 7 p.m. This is because the organization is not willing to pay for staff to be on site for the night shift. That bad decision is putting lives at risk,” said Simpson.

“Paramedics are skipping breaks and skipping lunch while working 12-hour shifts. We are doing everything we can to ensure residents receive quality EMS services, but when there is only a skeleton staff, being a paramedic goes from a stressful job to a dangerous job.” 

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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

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