1) COVID-19 Vaccinations – The Union executive brought forward our members concerns about our members not being able to access vaccines when other services had the ability to offer them. We had meetings with management prior to their announcement pushing for access to our members as quickly as possible. After management made their announcement that only those in the workplace currently could have the vaccine. The Union executive had a follow up meeting to express our further concerns that all members, even those out of the workplace should be able to have access to the vaccine. This was to ensure that when members were ready to return to work they would be vaccinated and better protected. The union also asked about compensating those that choose to get their vaccines on their days off. Other Paramedic services have chosen to compensate their medics from 30 minutes pre vaccine to 4 hours post vaccine. Our employer had no interest in discussing this and denied our request for compensation.
2) Policy Grievance with COVID-19 Training – The Union has been successful in getting all LOE removed. This was due to inconsistent communication from the employer and no clear set deadline was set until three days prior to the date that was expected. They are in the process of streamlining the process and expectations. We encourage all our members to take note of the deadlines set and complete ASAP to avoid any future letters that may be issued by management.
3) COVID-19 Self-Screening – The Union and employer are at an impasse on this matter and are going to mediation/arbitration, so stay tuned for further updates. Please remember to complete your self screening in the meantime to avoid any LOE, LOD, or further disciplinary action by management.
Update: There has been a mediation settlement. While the Union disagrees with screening on your own time and your own personal mobile device. The employer has agreed to getting a phone dial-in option which they are hoping to have up and running by the end of April. They are committed to looking at getting wifi in the bases. First they need to do a cost analyst and if it is feasible they have committed to installing. You can complete your COVID-19 screening anytime on your scheduled calendar day. Prior to any notation being issued they have agreed to speak to any member who fails to complete the COVID-19 screening prior to entering any NEMS location.
4) MIH – Since April/May 2020 we have been asking about the permanent Paramedic positions for the MIH teams. It has been extremely difficult gathering information from the employer, however the union executive is committed to having these positions made permanent. We also want to welcome our current occupational therapists to our local as their positions have now been made permanent.
5) ACP Drug Sign In – There has always been technology problems with EMS tools and have brought these concerns forward to management. The Union has recommended some changes in the meantime to assist with remembering to sign drugs back in. We are strongly encouraging all ACP members to remember to sign your drugs back in at the end of each shift. When you are on overtime, EMS tools will prompt you to claim overtime. Prior to claiming overtime, you will need to cancel first and then sign your drugs back in, then you claim your overtime. We asked management to prompt a pop up like overtime for signing your drugs back in to avoid this oversight. There has recently been an increase in the employer issuing more LOE and LOD. They are working on getting the drug lock boxes to work on the trucks, we will keep you posted with any further updates.
6) Member Versus Member Conflict – We are a growing local with many different personalities and may find conflict among one another from time to time. Our ask as a Union is that all members attempt to resolve any conflict between one another. If you are unable to resolve your conflict, please contact a member of the executive to help you navigate/mediate. We do not want management involved when we have member versus member conflict or it may lead to one or both members being disciplined by the employer. Always remember to be respectful to one another, solidarity!
7) Student Preceptorship – There have been many concerns brought forward regarding the process with preceptors burnout due to students. The employer has agreed that this process needs to improve. The union is working on a proposal to present to the employer to improve the overall process as well as allow our members to get a break from students when needed.
8) Management – Whenever having a discussion with a supervisor please be careful of what you say, as it may be used against yourself or our membership. We STRONGLY encourage you to have a Union representative present, especially if they are fact finding and things seem like it’s leading towards disciplinary action. Whenever something happens that may lead to discipline, please contact a shop steward or a member of the executive.
9) Members on WSIB – When you are getting paid from the region and WSIB sends you a cheque, you must submit this to the region. The reason you get a cheque is because the employer is covering the WSIB payment so that there are no lost wages while you are off of work. If you are ever unsure what to do please contact a WSIB representative for further support and information. If you have any concerns about a payroll issue then it’s your responsibility to contact payroll.
10) Dispatch Update – Three new probationary SSCs have helped stabilize dispatch and we’re working at peak more often. There are currently eight new SSC recruits in training.
Thank you to all our membership for all your hard work during the ongoing pandemic and keeping current with all the changes. Your Union executive and officers of the union are working hard behind the scenes with the dynamic changes and challenges that are impacting our workplace. This employer seems to continuously lack communication with the Union and transparency which presents many challenges. Our goal is to ensure better communication so that we can better support our membership. In the meantime keep up your hard work!