Union balks at suspensions for paramedics facing prostitution charges
The union representing paramedics in Winnipeg is questioning the suspension of two workers' licences before they appear in court on prostitution-related charges.
The two paramedics, who are 32 and 41 years old, were charged last week with communicating for the purposes of prostitution while on the job.
The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service has suspended them without pay while an internal review examines the situation; the province immediately pulled their paramedic licences.
They will appear separately before a judge next month.
Chris Broughton, speaking for the Professional Paramedic Association of Winnipeg, says the discipline is harsh, considering the men have not yet had their days in court.
"I found it to be very disappointing, considering in the past Manitoba Health hasn't pulled the licences of paramedics generally in the province who have been charged with crimes, yet in this case, they immediately pulled the licences of two of our members without the charges being proven in a court of law," he said.
"At this point in time, I don't know if due process has been given to our members in that regard."
The union will represent the two veteran paramedics when they appear at an internal disciplinary hearing on Friday. An appeal of the licence suspensions is still being considered, Broughton said.
The men could face penalties ranging from reprimand to dismissal if the charges are proved to be true, said Jim Brennan, fire paramedic chief.