Paramedic angry at BC Liberals’ decision to legislate paramedics back to work

As a voter in BC I expect this ridiculous back to work legislation be defeated in the house.  What an arrogant way to end a legal strike!  I challenge you to go for a ride along with one of the units in Surrey.  I truly believe that your eyes and your mind will be opened to the difficult issues we deal with everyday and you may even gain some insight to our problems.

I work as a part time paramedic and have so for over 25 years!  I have to work over 100 hours per week simply to make an income that is generally considered to be lower class. (Your comment about our managers working 60 to 70 hours per week and are tired doesn’t carry a lot of weight with me)  To continue as a paramedic in BC I have to have a fully employed spouse who generates an income that is a lot greater than mine.  She needs to have an employer who allows flexible hours as there are many times that I am called in early or kept late due to lack of coverage in our area.  She also needs to have the ability to leave her work suddenly if our children need us or if they get sick at school  as I am not available.  There are days that I am called in early, before my young son is awake, and I don’t get back until after he has gone to bed.  This can happen every day that I work.  This doesn’t make for a great family life.

I deal with sick people every day.  I have been spit on, punched, swore at, attacked with a knife, threatened with a bat, a gun, a dirty needle and the list goes on.  I am able to still treat every patient as I would expect my parents or family to be treated because I am a paramedic and this is what I do.  However, if I get sick from H1N1 or any other form of airborne illness due to my work, I have no short term illness or injury benefit or if I injure myself on the job I have to defend my injury to someone employed by BCAS to dispute my compensation claim.

The complete and utter disrespect that I feel from our employer and from your government is extremely disheartening.  The people that make the decisions are the same ones who have very little idea what paramedics are subjected to every single day.  I am angry at the disdain shown by you since you were given this Ministry.  What the hell happened to all the agreements in principle that were reached by Dr. Stephen Brown and Barry O’Neill during the election.  I spent a lot of time meeting with Minister Abbott during this time and built a good relationship based on honesty and respect.  This strike would have been over if you had not stepped in and quashed all of the hard work that had been accomplished.  I truly believe that.

Withdraw this bill and empower your negotiation team to negotiate a fair and equitable settlement.

Your response is neither expected nor required


Tim Alstad
Salmon Arm, BC