Fire Fighting in Canada

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Nova Scotia to send paramedics dispute to arbitration

July 5, 2013, Halifax - The Nova Scotia government says it will introduce legislation today to send a labour dispute involving the province's 800 paramedics to binding arbitration.

July 5, 2013
By The Canadian Press

Labour Minister Frank Corbett says the government is taking the measure because it sees no prospect of a deal between the union that
represents the paramedics and their employer.

Union members have repeatedly rejected offers from their employer, with 73 per cent of them recently voting against a deal that would have given them a defined benefit pension plan — one of their key demands.

The paramedics will be in a legal strike position at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

The legislature has been recalled today to debate the legislation, which would see an arbitrator ask for a final offer from both parties, hear their arguments and select one of the offers.

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The arbitrator would have 90 days to make a decision.

In addition to the defined benefit pension plan, the union says it's seeking better wages — a 15 per cent pay hike over three years rather than the 11.1 per cent over almost five years that was offered in the tentative agreement.