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Nova Scotia paramedics delay date for possible walkout

June 7, 2013, Halifax – Nova Scotia's paramedics union says it has delayed the timing of a possible strike until Sunday morning as efforts continue to reach a negotiated deal.

June 7, 2013
By The Canadian Press

June 7, 2013, Halifax – Nova Scotia's paramedics union says it has delayed the timing of a possible strike until Sunday morning as efforts continue to reach a negotiated deal.

Terry Chapman, a spokesman for the International Union of Operating Engineers, said today the 800 paramedics had originally considered a walkout starting Saturday, but they are giving employer Emergency Medical Care Inc. some added time for talks.

He says the union membership is looking for wage increases, a three-year deal and a defined benefit pension plan, rather than its existing defined contribution plan.

Emergency Medical Care says it is committed to reaching an agreement and isn't discussing the union's demands while a mediator assists the two sides in the talks.

Jeff Fraser, the EMC director of provincial operations, says management employees who are trained paramedics will be the only workers available in the event of a strike.

He says this would mean initially there would be about 28 per cent of the regular staffing available, and that only "time critical" emergencies would result in an ambulance being sent to the scene.