NDP allows debate on law to end paramedic strike in NL | Health crisis in the Atlantic

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The NDP authorizes the debate on the law for the end of the strike of the ambulance workers in T .-N.-L. | Atlantic health crisis

NDP MP for Saint-Jean-Centre Jim Dinn

New Democratic Party (NDP) Interim Leader Jim Dinn said the bill that would make private paramedics an essential service, introduced during an emergency sitting of the House of Assembly on Monday morning, comes far too late.

This week's health care crisis is the handiwork of Prime Minister Furey, he said. The government could have presented a bill to the House of Assembly in the spring or fall session, then it could have been properly debated.

For his part, Government House Leader John Hogan accuses the NDP of “playing politics” with people's lives by twice blocking debate in the House.

“People's lives are at stake. This is more than an emergency. »

— John Hogan, Liberal MP and Government House Leader

More than 100 private sector paramedics have been on strike since midday Friday after talks with their employer, the Fewer's ambulance service.

Striking paramedics from the Fewer's Ambulance Service protested outside the Confederation Building on Monday as the Newfoundland and Labrador government debated a bill that would make them essential workers and would force him to return to work.

The new bill would require members of Teamsters Local Lodge 855 to return to work immediately, until an essential services agreement can be reached. be concluded between the trade union and the employer.

These agreements typically outline what aspects of a service are essential and how many people are needed to meet that standard.

Once established, workers will be able to return to the picket line while respecting the terms of the essential services agreement.

Despite the NDP's refusals, the intention of the law is welcomed by the union.

Hubert Dawe is spokesperson for Teamsters Union Local 855 in Newfoundland.

Hubert Dawe, the man leading negotiations for Teamsters members, wants to see legislation that will establish his members as essential workers and also establish clear timelines on when a case will be referred to the x27;arbitration.

Also would like it to include penalties in case either party interferes with the process.

I would like to see this document and this bill establish a procedure in which we provide an essential service and have a clear process by which to resolve this problem, he said.

The strikers usually cover a large area of ​​Newfoundland, from Fogo Island in the northeast to Trepassey in the south of Avalon and Stephenville on the west coast.

The Eastern Health authority has put in place an emergency plan and believes it can meet the standards for response times.

Despite these efforts, volunteer firefighters are preparing to a more important role.

Duane Antle is the Chief of the Come By Chance Volunteer Fire Department.

Small town fire departments are often called upon to assist with medical calls, said Come By Chance Fire Chief Duane Antle.

They are now anticipating situations where they will be alone at the scene for about an hour before an ambulance can come from another city.

There is no one in the community that someone on our team does not have a connection with, held recalled the fire chief. So if we're on an extended call, it puts a huge strain on us.

Duane Antle is grateful there's a contingency plan, but given the size of the area to be covered, he has doubts.

For me, this is not a long-term solution, he confided.

With information from CBC

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