Legal News

ambulances are essential service

The BC Labour Relations Board has declared that all services provided by the Emergency Health Services Commission, including ambulance services, are essential and must be maintained during a strike. Following a dispute between the Commission and the Ambulance Paramedics of BC, the Minister of Labour directed the board to designate the Commission’s facilities, productions and services that are necessary or essential pursuant to section 72 of the Labour Relations Code.

In Emergency Health Services Commission, BCLRB No. B297/2000, the board designated the continued operation of all facilities of the Commission as necessary or essential. It also designated all services necessary or essential to the continued operation of pre-hospital care, dispatch, Airvac for priority 1 and 2 patient transfers, and priority 1, 2 and 3 ground transfers.

Among other things, the board ordered the Commission to utilize to the best extent possible the services of qualified, excluded employees to ensure the designated facilities and services are maintained or provided. The union must provide unrestricted access and egress for persons covered by the order, ambulance drivers, vehicles delivering blood, oxygen and other persons or delivery required for the continued operation of the designated facilities and services. Employees are to be available in the event of any emergency or disaster.

(Click here for copy of Decision)