Tag Archives: Essential service

Should EMS be essential in Toronto

Should ambulance workers be allowed to strike?
City hall debates making EMS a full essential service
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Sept. 14 for Town Crier)

During the summer’s city strike many Torontonians were surprised to discover that EMS is not considered a full-fledged essential service.
Ambulances were still on the road, but 25 percent of frontline Emergency Medical Services workers were on the picket lines. 
Midtown councillor Michael Walker had a motion at the city’s Executive Committee asking the province to declare all of EMS an essential service. 
“It should be 100 percent not 75 percent,” Walker said. “The bottom line is these services will not be withdrawn from the public (in a strike).” 
Roberta Scott, public relations director for the Toronto Paramedics Association, agrees. 
“Either paramedics are a true essential service or they are not,” Scott told the committee. “On a daily basis we see there are not enough paramedics. 
“And then if you put us in a strike situation and take away 25 percent of us then it delays response time,” the former paramedic added. “That is a disaster waiting to happen.” Continue reading

Daycare, garbage, EMS essential services?

Toronto councillor wants these city services deemed essential
The issue will be up for debate at power Exec Committee Sept 8
By Kris Scheuer
(Originally written Aug. 7 for Town Crier.)

Enduring 39 days without trash pick-up, city-run daycare and full emergency medical service wasn’t anyone’s idea of a great way to start the summer.
While Torontonians don’t want to see another strike like it anytime soon St. Paul’s councillor Michael Walker wants to go a step further. 
He doesn’t want them to strike again … ever.
The midtown rep thinks its wrong and is advocating for essential services status for all these city programs. 
Walker brought forward three motions to city council Aug. 6 to ask that the province mandate daycare and children’s services, garbage collection and EMS as essential services, like police and fire, which would legally prohibit striking.
There was no debate on any of his recommendations, but rather these motions were referred off to the Executive Committee’s September 8 meeting.
Walker outlines his argument for each programs being declared essential. Continue reading