Paramedics claim they are not being paid

The Ambulance Paramedics of British Columbia (APBC), CUPE Local 873 is urging the BC Ambulance Service and the Provincial Health Services Authority to address the significant shortcomings of a new payroll system imposed on Paramedics, which has allegedly resulted in them not being paid for portions of their work.

On June 21, 2013, BCAS began using a new payroll system integrated with the PHSA payroll and scheduling system.

According to APBC, some impacts on Paramedics include:

  • Paramedics have not been paid their regular wages
  • Part-time Paramedics not being paid for call out work
  • Arbitrary adjustments of pay rate calculations for Paramedics
  • Supervisory staff not paid correctly

“Patient care is always, and will remain, our top priority – our members are there, day-in and day-out, serving BC residents in their time of need,” said Bronwyn Barter, President of APBC.

“But we need the employer to do their job and ensure Paramedics are paid for the valuable work they do.  We are frustrated that the employer hasn’t made this issue a priority, and taken immediate steps to correct it.”

“Saving lives is important to us, but like everyone, the Paramedics have to take care of their own families and pay their mortgages and bills,” added Barter.

“There comes a point when it just isn’t fair.”

“BCEHS is in the process of formally reviewing the July 12 pay cycle to ensure that each and every employee is accurately paid,” said Kelsie Carwithen of BCEHS.

“To our knowledge, all staff have received all or most of their pay from the July 12 pay date. Current figures show that 98% per cent of the average bi-weekly payroll was expended for the first period of the pay system on July 12. We expect that the majority of the problems with the new system will be resolved over the next two pay cycles, by the August 23 pay date."

"We regret that staff have been inconvenienced and are doing all we can to improve the system and minimize the impact to our employees,” said BCEHS.

According to Barter, APBC is seeking legal counsel to better understand the legal context for ambulance paramedics working and providing care to patients without agreed upon pay or, in some cases, any pay.  Conditions for payment for work performed are also clearly laid out in the collective agreement with the employer.

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