Sudbury

City of Sault Ste. Marie, paramedic union ordered to sign new emergency services agreement

The Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) has reached a decision in a labour dispute involving the City of Sault Ste. Marie and the union representing the city’s paramedics.

Members of Unifor Local 1359 have been without a collective agreement since March, 2017

The City of Sault Ste. Marie and the union representing local paramedics have been ordered by the Ontario Labour Relations Board to sign an amended emergency services agreement. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

The Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) has reached a decision in a dispute involving the City of Sault Ste. Marie and the union representing the city's paramedics.

In February the city applied to the OLRB to have the essential services agreement declared invalid, blocking a strike by members of Unifor Local 1359.

The 54 paramedics represented by the union have been without a contract since March 2017.

According to the decision from the OLRB, the two parties presented a draft of a new essential services agreement at a hearing on April 4, but were unable to agree on several issues.

The two main issues included the numbers of ambulance workers required to provide essential services during a strike, and whether four qualified members of management should be included in those numbers.

OLRB Vice-Chair Maurice A. Green determined that eight day shift workers and six night shift workers should be required to provide services during a strike. Green also sided with the city's position that four supervisors should not be included in those numbers.

Both parties have been order to sign the amended essential services agreement.

There is no word on whether Unifor Local 1359 will proceed with a strike following the OLRB's decision.

The city and the union both declined to comment on the decision to CBC Radio-Canada.