(Black Press Media files)

(Black Press Media files)

B.C. paramedics worry end of job-share will spark burnout as agreement set to end April 1

Union, BCEHS have until April 1 to come to a new agreement

A move by B.C. Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) to discontinue a job sharing agreement for 36 paramedics and dispatchers could lead to further burnout, according to CUPE 873 spokesperson Jessica Chilton.

Chilton said that the job-share program has been available since at least 2005 and allows paramedics and dispatchers to share one job.

“In four on, four off situation what we typically see is one person would work two shifts and the other person would work the other two shifts,” Chilton told Black Press Media by phone Wednesday (March 10).

“It seems like a small number [of people] to impact but the decision has been motivated – from what we’ve been told – due to administrative purposes and systematic requirements.”

Chilton said that while staff who take part in the job-share program may work part-time hours, they would lose benefits if they moved to true part-time work.

“They would have to change their employment status and then the ramifications of that are that it could impede their ability to bid on future position, it can affect their vacation, their holidays, their pension,” she said. “It comes with sacrifices.”

Paramedics and dispatchers who choose to move to full-time work could be making other trade-offs, Chilton said, including family time and their mental health.

“From the members who have contacted us so far… the majority affected are women, and the overwhelming majority of them are working mothers that are using these job-shares to attempt to balance the demands of their career with the needs of their families.”

Paramedics and dispatchers often work shifts that don’t work well with existing child care that is designed for a standard 9-5 work day.

“It makes it very very challenging for them to find appropriate care under those circumstances,” Chilton said, regardless if they are working moms or dads.

Many paramedics and dispatchers also began job share to help with their mental health, she added.

“Essentially, using the job-share as a form of self accommodation so they can balance their mental health needs… and their career and provide the best care possible to their patients.”

Chilton said that cancelling job-share at this moment has only increased that burden, particularly during a now year-long pandemic and an overdose crisis that shows no signs of ending.

“At this point there’s no resolution or agreement that’s been put forward that works within the confines of our collective agreement,” she said. “We haven’t engaged in in-depth conversation. We’re hoping to have this resolved by April 1. We’re hoping to rectify this before [the members] have to make these very difficult decisions for themselves and their families.”

In an email, BCEHS spokesperson Sarah Morris said that the organization is “committed to continuing to offer our employees job-sharing arrangements.”

Morris said that while the existing job-share agreements would be terminated by April 1, “we fully intend to offer the 36 affected employees new agreements.”

ALSO READ: After a night of one-hour waits for ambulances, union goes public with concerns

p>


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Alberni Golf Club is located on Cherry Creek Road. FILE PHOTO
ALBERNI GOLF: Parhar picks up win in Partner with a Pro

Next Sunday, April 18 is a two man best ball

Two of the heritage buildings from McLean Mill National Historic Site that have been restored at the Port Alberni tourist attraction. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
McLean Mill application breaks new ground for ALC

Process just another ‘misstep’ by city, says critic

Coulson Aviation’s newest Chinook helicopter, N43CU, takes to the air above the Alberni Valley Regional Airport following a complete airframe conversion into a helitanker, April 8, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY BILL MCLEOD)
Coulson Aviation’s newest helitanker takes flight

Converted Chinook helitanker off to U.S. for new paint job

Dave Cusson, Community Policing Manager with the City of Port Alberni, offers some tips for pedestrian safety in a Community Policing video. (SCREENSHOT)
City of Port Alberni on way to dubious pedestrian safety record

Pedestrian crashes a growing concern in Port Alberni

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

(Amandalina Letterio - Capital News)
Kelowna demonstrators show support for Vancouver Island logging activists

Two Kelowna men stood atop a pedestrian bridge on Harvey Avenue to raise awareness about old-growth forests

City workers from Duncan were busy recently putting up street signs in both Hul’q’umi’num’ and English. (Submitted photo)
Hul’q’umi’num street signs installed in downtown Duncan

Partnership with Cowichan Tribes sees English street names twinned with Indigenous language

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

Homicide investigators who asked not to be identified put up signs Wednesday, April 14, along the Nanaimo Parkway in the area where a body was found March 31. RCMP are asking for witnesses or dash cam footage as the suspicious death has now been ruled a homicide. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Suspicious death along the highway in Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

RCMP identify victim as Randell Charles Thomas, repeat call for any information related to the case

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read