FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 2, 2001
paramedics choose OPSEU
TORONTO – Ambulance paramedics in Ottawa-Carleton have voted
overwhelmingly to be represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees
Of the 218 who voted Feb. 1, 210 chose OPSEU – 97 per cent support.
The 266 ambulance paramedics had previously belonged to OPSEU when
they worked directly for the provincial government. They were downloaded
to the municipality Jan. 1, prompting the certification vote.
Keith Dykes, president of OPSEU Local 413, said the vote reflected a
sense that ambulance paramedics would be better able to address their
specific issues as their own bargaining unit, rather than being wrapped
into the Canadian Union of Public Employees with the rest of Ottawa’s
"We think we will be able to provide a better service to the
public this way," Dykes said. "We have been working on this
transition for more than three years. The first effort was to make sure
we kept the ambulance service in the public sector, which meant
convincing the city to take it over. The next step was keeping our own
bargaining unit so we can address problems which are specific to
The Ontario Labour Relations Board has scheduled a hearing for Feb.
26 to determine whether the ambulance paramedics will retain their
separate bargaining unit represented by OPSEU or whether they will be
folded into the city’s CUPE bargaining unit.
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For further information:
Katie FitzRandolph (OPSEU Communications) (416) 448-7440; home (416)