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July 28, 2009

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B.C.’s ambulance paramedics in Court today

VANCOUVER—Ambulance Paramedics of BC – CUPE 873 are expected to be in the Supreme Court today to answer charges that they are in contempt of the essential services order that they continue to work under.

Ambulance Paramedics of BC president John Strohmaier says that the government is trying to deal with the longstanding labour dispute in the courts, instead of at the bargaining table.

“Government inaction has created this situation that puts people’s lives at risk,” says Strohmaier. “Instead of addressing the problems, they expect the Courts to fix them.”

The case is expected to be heard at the Supreme Court of British Columbia today.

The paramedics have been trying to address problems of a deteriorating ambulance service and are asking the government to get back to the bargaining table. They have now been on strike for 119 days. Members of CUPE 873 want the government to negotiate so that improvements can be made to how services are delivered. Chronic understaffing and long response times continue to be the biggest issues paramedics want the government to address.

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