As everyone is aware, our ground ambulance system has and still is experiencing significant paramedic staffing challenges. We have recently ratified a three-year Collective Agreement that has brought improvements in pay and benefits for our beleaguered paramedics.
The starting wage for a graduating Primary Care Paramedic is $67,857.00, and a new Advanced Care Paramedic would start at $81,063.00. This does not include shift premiums that are currently an additional $3.00 per hour plus Double Overtime along with Short Term Disability, Medical and Dental and $2,500.00 stand-alone mental health benefits paid for by the employer.
It is our intention to grow our paramedic workforce with qualified paramedics to supplement and continue to provide the public with the professional and highly trained paramedics they deserve.
Presently, the government is introducing a new EMR program in Nova Scotia to supplement our existing programs. While we have received information regarding this new program, it has been vague without explicit details, which we understand will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.
As with any new addition to healthcare, there will be many questions and opportunities to elaborate on and bring forth to all parties involved, including the current paramedic profession employed in Nova Scotia.
The union appreciates the effort of the government to assist in maintaining necessary responses to increasing demand, and properly using EMRs will be an asset to maintaining a high-quality paramedic response in Nova Scotia.
IUOE Local 727