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OPSEU welcomes council’s decision to cancel RFP process for EMS workers

Parry Sound – The Ontario Public Service Employees Union is pleased that the District of Parry Sound has cancelled the Request for Proposals (RFP) for emergency medical service workers in their community.

In October 2015, Parry Sound Council put forward a request from the EMS Advisory Committee to have a consultant create an RFP as well as give a recommendation on future land ambulances services for the Parry Sound District.

The consultant recommended the town stay with the West Parry Sound Health Centre as the provider for land ambulance service to the Parry Sound District. The consultant’s report raised concerns about the fairness of an RFP process and the cost of changing providers.

Brian Downing, President of OPSEU Local 342, made a deputation to the Town of Parry Sound Council last December representing EMS workers. He told council to consider the serious impact on his members and the service if the RFP process resulted in a change of provider.

Downing urged councillors to include provisions in the RFP that would require the successful bidder to recognize the existing employees and their collective agreement.  “If council feels there must be accountability and value for money, then the RFP must have a level playing field.”

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas welcomed the decision by council to cancel the RFP. “We’ve witnessed the devastating impacts on workers and the community when public services are caught up in a competitive bidding process and sold off to the lowest bidder. The evidence is clear – the services suffer and costs soar.”

OPSEU represents more than 2,100 paramedics proudly serving residents in 20 communities across the province.

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Tracey Mussett,
OPSEU Organizing