Paramedics union sounds alarm
The union representing Calgary EMS workers says it is concerned about the upcoming transfer of the service.
The provincial government will manage the paramedic service starting April 1st.
Until then, the responsibility lies with municipalities.
But officials with CUPE 3421 are launching a public relations campaign ahead of the transfer.
They are concerned that paramedics won't have their own voice when it comes time to bargain contracts with the province.
Union president Rick Fraser says it is an issue that all Calgarians should be concerned about.
"Thirty years ago... we literally put people in the back of the ambulance, we drove them quickly to the hospital with no medical treatment at all. We now perform minor surgeries in the back of the ambulance to secure airways, very similar to emergency physicians."
The union wants the government to include them as a separate bargaining unit but so far, the government hasn't agreed to the request.
The Health Sciences Association of Alberta has launched a public awareness campaign of its own.
The HSA says it has successfully represented over one thousand paramedics, EMTs, and EMRs in other Alberta juristictions for years.