ambulance

Southern Avalon communities fear they will soon be left without ambulance services

Communities along the southern Avalon may be losing their only ambulance as the owner of seven private ambulance services gave notice to withdraw the ambulance in a little over 100 days.

NTV’s Marykate O’Neill has the details.

MHAs returning to House early to debate making private ambulances essential

The provincial government has asked for an emergency debate in the House of Assembly to make private ambulance workers essential. MHAs will return to their seats Monday morning.

The news came just a day after more than 100 first responders took to the picket line. NTV’s Ben Cleary reports.

House of Assembly to hold emergency debate Monday on private ambulance strike

Premier Andrew Furey has asked for the House of Assembly to reconvene Monday to hold an emergency debate on the private ambulance strike affecting rural Newfoundland communities.

The House will debate the Essential Ambulance Services Act. If passed, the act will make private ambulance services essential. Striking members of Teamsters Local 855 would have to return to work until an essential services agreement is in place, at which point the labour action could resume.

More than 100 private ambulance workers in rural Newfoundland communities escalated their strike by walking off the job Friday. Teamsters Local 855 leader Hubert Dawe says it came after a hostile act by an employer against a union member. The companies owned by Bob Fewer cover areas from Fogo Island on the northeast coast to Trepassey on the southern shore of the Avalon to Stephenville on the west coast.

The Speaker’s Office says the House will reconvene at 10 a.m. Monday.

The legislation has not been made public yet, but the provincial government provided background information in a news release:

The Essential Ambulance Services Act

The Essential Ambulance Services Act will allow the employer and employees to determine the terms of the essential ambulance services agreement, and will allow them to engage with the Labour Relations Board when necessary ⁠— including authorizing the Board to refer a matter to binding arbitration to protect the employees’ meaningful right to a strike and the employers’ meaningful right to a lockout. When passed, the Act will require the union members to return to work until an essential services agreement is established, at which point labour action may resume. 

To date, only ambulance services provided publicly, through the Regional Health Authorities, fall under such legislation. Paramedics employed by private ambulance service operators fall under the Labour Relations Act and have thus far not been deemed essential. 

More than 100 rural ambulance workers walk off the job

More than 100 workers with seven private ambulance services in rural Newfoundland walked off the job at noon Friday.

Teamsters Local 855 leader Hubert Dawe says it came after a hostile act by an employer against a union member. The companies cover areas from Fogo Island on the northeast coast to Trepassey on the southern shore of the Avalon to Stephenville on the west coast.

NTV’s Ben Cleary reports.

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