3,000 paramedics reach agreement in principle with government

A paramedic walks past a row of ambulances after transporting a patient Friday, January 15, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

A union representing more than 3,000 Quebec paramedics (FSSS-CSN) has reached an agreement in principle with the Quebec government.

Government Administration Minister Sonia Lebel and Health Minister Christian Dube made the announcement in a Saturday press release.

According to the government, this agreement will allow "an improvement in the remuneration and working conditions of the most important group of ambulance attendants in Quebec, but also to promote the development of accessibility of front-line services to the population."

The FSSS-CSN had not yet issued a statement on the agreement as of Saturday evening.

Très heureuse d'annoncer la conclusion d'une première entente de principe avec plus de 3 000 ambulanciers, représentés par la FSSS-CSN.

Je tiens à remercier l’ensemble des équipes de négociations pour le travail effectué au cours des derniers mois.@cdube_sante

— Sonia LeBel (@slebel19) May 7, 2022

The government said it will allow "the necessary time for the FSSS-CSN to present the offer to its members before releasing the details of the agreement."

Paramedics have been without a collective agreement since April 1, 2020.

In January, the FSSS-CSN requested the intervention of a conciliator in their negotiations, citing an "impasse" in talks with the government.

The strike, which has been going on in several municipalities since last summer, spread to other unions in February.

The disputes included wages, shift schedules that require a paramedic to be on call 24 hours a day for seven days, meal times and mental health.

This report was first published in French by The Canadian Press on May 7, 2022.

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