Montreal

Urgences-Santé paramedics strike as negotiations stall

Paramedics will continue to perform their emergency response duties during the strike, but they won't be responsible for filing paperwork, transferring healthy patients or washing their vehicles, the union says.

Paramedics will not provide on site, precautionary services at festivals or sporting events during strike

During the strike, union president Réjean Leclerc says paramedics will not provide on site, precautionary services at festivals or sporting events outside of their regular schedules. (Radio-Canada)

Urgences-Santé workers in Montreal and Laval have hit the picket lines in a bid to secure a new collective agreement.

The paramedics, who started striking outside their head office at 6 a.m. Sunday morning, have been without a deal for nearly two years.

Paramedics will continue to perform their emergency response duties during the strike. (Radio-Canada)

Union president Réjean Leclerc said paramedics will continue to perform their emergency response duties during the strike. 

However, they will no longer be responsible for filing paperwork, transferring healthy patients to or from hospital, transporting health professionals or washing their vehicles except for windows, mirrors and signalling lights.

In addition, paramedics will no longer provide on site, precautionary services at festivals or sporting events outside of their regular schedules, following a provincial labour tribunal decision that ruled these to be "non-essential" services, he said.

The pressure tactics will continue until at least Feb. 26.

Benoit Garneau, a spokesman for Urgences-Santé, stressed that essential services will be maintained during the strike.

"If you have to call an ambulance, the ambulance will arrive. Treatment will be given by the paramedics and the transport to the hospital will be done," said Garneau. 

Urgences-Santé and the union are scheduled to resume talks again Feb. 15.

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