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Rob Ford's Toronto

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DanTheMan

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Press Release from Toronto Paramedic Association:

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TORONTO, Dec. 18, 2011 /CNW/ - CUPE Local 416 has offered the City of Toronto an "essential service agreement" which will keep 100% of the city's Paramedics and their support staff at work.

The union's only provision is to allow the Paramedics the ability to go to a fair arbitration system - the same as Police, Fire and TTC.

The City of Toronto flatly turned us down and is now taking us to the OLRB, trying to strip us of our right to strike with no fair and reasonable exchange of arbitration.

The Paramedics are outraged that the city is taking this draconian approach to the collective bargaining process.

"Paramedics demand to know why the City of Toronto wants to treat them differently than Police, Fire and TTC, who are all essential services with arbitration" states Roberta Scott the former P.R. Director of the Toronto Paramedic Association and one of the Paramedics who has been pushing this issue for years, both with the City and the Province.

When she was the P.R. Director of the Toronto Paramedics Association Roberta asked candidate Rob Ford about essential service live on the CP 24 Mayoral debate in Oct 2010.

His answer:

"I believe they should be an essential service. And I want to assure them that when I'm Mayor, we will make it an essential service"

Mayor Ford went on to say:

"And if they're going to make a bit more money for doing it - I have never had a person come up and say, "Rob, I object to paying Paramedics, Firefighter, or Police more money" This is where the money should be spent, and I have no problem paying our Officers, or our Firefighters or our Paramedics good money to do a job."
"I don't want people like Roberta, feeling, you know, this uncertainty. And I want to assure her that when I'm Mayor. We will make it an essential service. And we will guarantee to have the best service possible"

Toronto Paramedics are asking the mayor to live up to his promise and for the City of Toronto to give us the same recognition and respect that the other emergency services have as an essential service, including arbitration.

Toronto Paramedics are among the most highly skilled and trained Paramedics in North America.
We work daily under conditions of extreme stress and often in situations of high risk to our own health and safety.
We take tremendous pride in our role as dedicated health care professionals who practice life saving skills everyday to treat patients experiencing a wide variety of medical emergencies and life threatening situations.

All we are asking the city for is fair and reasonable treatment in the ESA process:
To be given the recognition of a true essential service - like police, fire and TTC - with a fair arbitration system.

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The city's approach is truly a slap in the face to every one in the department. We already consistently get the short end of the stick. Without arbitration, the city can stall indefinetly, paramedics in BC are going on two years without a contract because they lack an arbitration process.
 

voxpopulicosmicum

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Rob Ford is a Great Leader...

...just like Kim Jong-il was.

And what a mess Rob and his brother is doing to Toronto, at least its a city not a country.
And at least Toronto doesn't have nukes (although the TPS is the self-described "largest armed gang in the country", but they control Ford and not vice versa, so the NK analogy breaks down).

Also, our leader is clearly not "Fearless" nor could he be credibly described as such (still waiting for the 911 tapes to be released).
 

voxpopulicosmicum

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And at least Toronto doesn't have nukes (although the TPS is the self-described "largest armed gang in the country", but they control Ford and not vice versa, so the NK analogy breaks down).

Also, our leader is clearly not "Fearless" nor could he be credibly described as such (still waiting for the 911 tapes to be released).
OTOH, The Sun makes a pretty good stand-in for the DPRK's state media organs. Equivalent credibility, anyway, but the DPRK's writing is certainly of a higher calibre.
 

Urban Shocker

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Anyone going to Gargantua's second New Year's Levee? I'm puttin' on my pinko sweater again and wouldn't miss it for the world. Will be interesting to see how much of the tattered army that was once Ford Nation attends.
 

DanTheMan

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Just to follow up on my previous post regarding the EMS essential service meeting at the OLRB in case anyone is interested...

The meeting seemed to go well, but we won't know the ruling until the new year...In the mean time it has become clear that some members of council have some real priority issues...

From a CBC article:
...But the deputy mayor Doug Holyday says the city can't afford to treat paramedics the same as police, fire or the TTC

"In the end that would mean a heft salary increase, a huge benefit increase, people retiring at the age of 50, and all things that would be very expensive to the taxpayer and we're not about to let that happen," he said.

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And the following is a list of all council members who voted in favour of making TTC essential but against making EMS essential

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cgb2lxCMyWCkZWMTbrwzRq8su2SRC8EpcxtOH1E5TBI/edit?pli=1

There are over 10000 employees at the TTC, there are 1000 in EMS....hypocrisy at it's finest. We are really asking everyone to email these councillors and tell them to do the right thing.
 

voxpopulicosmicum

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Just to follow up on my previous post regarding the EMS essential service meeting at the OLRB in case anyone is interested...

The meeting seemed to go well, but we won't know the ruling until the new year...In the mean time it has become clear that some members of council have some real priority issues...

From a CBC article:
...But the deputy mayor Doug Holyday says the city can't afford to treat paramedics the same as police, fire or the TTC

"In the end that would mean a heft salary increase, a huge benefit increase, people retiring at the age of 50, and all things that would be very expensive to the taxpayer and we're not about to let that happen," he said.

-----------

And the following is a list of all council members who voted in favour of making TTC essential but against making EMS essential

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cgb2lxCMyWCkZWMTbrwzRq8su2SRC8EpcxtOH1E5TBI/edit?pli=1

There are over 10000 employees at the TTC, there are 1000 in EMS....hypocrisy at it's finest. We are really asking everyone to email these councillors and tell them to do the right thing.
I don't want to tell you how to think, but IMO the EMS folks seem to be falling neatly into the divide-and-conquer trap that the City has set up. You can't win by turning this into a pissing match between EMS and the TPS, TFS and TTC unions. For one thing, you're on the outside looking in.
 

spider

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The solution to the EMS problem is out of their control, it is not a number of staff it is a matter of what they are doing during a shift rather than what they should be doing.

My wife has spent a lot of time in Toronto hospitals in the last 2 years and her mother before her, entry to the Hospitals was sometimes gained by ambulance to the ER. The ambulance people were, without exception, caring, polite and competent.

Observation from the ER ramp and later from hospital rooms that overlooked the ER entrance revealed that as many as 5 ambulances at a time could be held up there because the Hospital ER could not or would not accept as patients the people that they brought in. The break down in the system obviously is the inability of the Hospital to process patients in a timely fashion. The excuse given over and over again is that there is only one doctor available and you will just have to wait. Here's a suggestion, terminate a few vice-presidents as their salaries will easily cover the cost of another intern not to mention putting several ambulances back on the street.
 

W. K. Lis

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What is gravy?

For Rob Ford, gravy is things he does not like or want to support. Be it libraries, zoos, public housing, food support, public transit, or outdoor swimming pools, if he does not use it, he does not want to support it.

Where is the real gravy? The Globe and Mail did a story called "Time to rein in the process police", on bureaucracy. That is the real gravy. We saw what happened when bureaucrats tried to ran the gourmet food carts. How many people does it take to screw in a street light bulb? From the office down to the service truck, in total? That is the real gravy. That is what Rob Ford should have looked to get rid of gravy, procedures and practices, not agencies.

Though the article is about Ontario, you can apply the same to city bureaucrats as well.

ADAM RADWANSKI
Time to rein in the process police

From Monday's Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 12:04AM EST
Last updated Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 4:26AM EST

Not long ago, a senior civil servant travelled for work to a budget hotel in northern Ontario. In the morning, he went downstairs, got breakfast for $8.50, and left a $1.50 tip. Then he expensed it, and so began an adventure in accountability.

First, a more junior bureaucrat called to ask for an itemized receipt, to ensure liquor hadn’t been ordered. When he wasn’t able to provide it, she commenced a lengthy process to obtain the itemized receipt from the hotel. And when she finally acquired it, she called the breakfast-eater back with some bad news. Although he hadn’t expensed booze, it turned out he had overspent his daily limit for breakfast – by a grand total of less than two dollars.

This is what Ontario’s government, $16-billion in the hole and facing threats to its credit rating, pays a good chunk of its bureaucrats to worry about.

Most everyone who deals with the province tells the same story: The “process police†are running the place. It’s a situation born of good intentions, with the government having responded to a series of accountability controversies by layering on more and more red tape – a pattern familiar to those who interact with various governments in this country, including by some accounts the one in Ottawa. But it’s wholly incompatible with the supposed push to make the public sector leaner and more efficient.

It’s impossible to know just how much money is being squandered, and how many resources misused. But anecdotal evidence is legion.

For starters, there’s the obsession with tracking relatively minor expenses. Sources suggest that, in some agencies, less money is spent on travel and hospitality than on monitoring hospitality and travel. And that’s little wonder, when you consider how much money that bureaucrat earned in salary while tracking the breakfast receipt, relative to the actual cost of the meal.

Then there’s the incredible glut of paperwork that surrounds bigger expenditures. A small-town hospital, for example, reports that in return for provincial funding, it has 123 different contracts – hardly a way to make the most of limited human resources.

Perhaps most significant, in terms of bogging down the public-policy engine, are the rules to prevent contracts from being sole-sourced. In general, that’s a laudable goal. But if taken to extremes, it leads to competitive bidding processes just for the privilege of running competitive bidding processes – causing important investments to take years to get out the door.

The irony is that these policies don’t always achieve their real purpose, which is to spare the government political headaches. Earlier this year, a competitive process led the transit agency Metrolinx to bypass a company in North Bay for a contract worth more than $120-million because a rival bid from Quebec had come in about $2-million lower. The resulting outcry in North Bay, fuelled by the provincial opposition, contributed to the governing Liberals losing their seat there.

More importantly, the policies make for bad governance. Beyond driving up costs and slowing output, there’s an obvious impact on morale. At a time when politicians will expect them to come up with innovative solutions to huge budgetary challenges, which requires taking a few risks, many civil servants are more preoccupied with covering their own behinds.

None of this is to say the pendulum should swing so far back the other way that there are no safeguards. When individuals or agencies behave recklessly, there should be consequences. But the recent rules and regulations have mostly bought a phony sort of accountability, in which the process matters more than the outcome.

Once all that process is in place, it’s not easy to trim it back. For Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals, doing so would be an open invitation to the provincial opposition – and, yes, the media – to scandal-monger.

But as he tries to get it onto a stable financial footing, Mr. McGuinty purports to want to modernize government; to make it function a little more like the private sector. Worrying less about what its officials eat for breakfast wouldn’t be a bad place to start.
 

DanTheMan

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The solution to the EMS problem is out of their control, it is not a number of staff it is a matter of what they are doing during a shift rather than what they should be doing.

My wife has spent a lot of time in Toronto hospitals in the last 2 years and her mother before her, entry to the Hospitals was sometimes gained by ambulance to the ER. The ambulance people were, without exception, caring, polite and competent.

Observation from the ER ramp and later from hospital rooms that overlooked the ER entrance revealed that as many as 5 ambulances at a time could be held up there because the Hospital ER could not or would not accept as patients the people that they brought in. The break down in the system obviously is the inability of the Hospital to process patients in a timely fashion. The excuse given over and over again is that there is only one doctor available and you will just have to wait. Here's a suggestion, terminate a few vice-presidents as their salaries will easily cover the cost of another intern not to mention putting several ambulances back on the street.
It is definitely a system wide issue, much of which is due to patients clogging ER beds that require complex continuing care somewhere else. The 'offload delay' that you're talking about where you're seeing multiple crews stacking up waiting to transfer care is actually much better now than it used to be with increased nurse availability. The Toronto average is about 40minutes from a crew entering the ER to being available to take another call, which is actually a pretty good number.

I'll have to disagree with you when you say the number of paramedics isn't an issue, the city has quietly decreased the minimum car count of ambulances to around 90 during the day. So essentially if more than 90 people in a city of 3million+ need an ambulance at any one time, you're out of luck, that number is cut in half at night.


I don't want to tell you how to think, but IMO the EMS folks seem to be falling neatly into the divide-and-conquer trap that the City has set up. You can't win by turning this into a pissing match between EMS and the TPS, TFS and TTC unions. For one thing, you're on the outside looking in.
I agree that's exactly what they want, but unfortunately we need to defend our livelihood and your right to get an ambulance when you call 911. All we want is to be treated fairly and equally, we have been a quiet and apathetic group for far too long IMO. And just to be clear it's not our intention to turn this into a pissing match between the unions, but you kinda need to scratch your head when Fire and Police are getting generous raises and we're being asked to cut 10% of our salary and benefits...
 

dt_toronto_geek

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I agree that's exactly what they want, but unfortunately we need to defend our livelihood and your right to get an ambulance when you call 911. All we want is to be treated fairly and equally, we have been a quiet and apathetic group for far too long IMO. And just to be clear it's not our intention to turn this into a pissing match between the unions, but you kinda need to scratch your head when Fire and Police are getting generous raises and we're being asked to cut 10% of our salary and benefits...
EMS Paramedics are essential service workers, who but Ford and his dwindling circle of cronies could possibly deny that.
Thanks for the link. I, for one, am on it today and I hope others will be too.
 

k10ery

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EMS Paramedics are essential service workers, who but Ford and his dwindling circle of cronies could possibly deny that.
Thanks for the link. I, for one, am on it today and I hope others will be too.
From Ford's interview in the Globe today:

Q: Do you think EMS workers should be an essential service?

A. Yeah, I believe it’s pretty important that we do that. It’s definitely important, they’re essential.

Q. Would that mean extending them arbitration privileges like police and fire?

A. Again, all the ins and outs, I’m not an expert in that, but I think we have to do what it takes to make them an essential service.
I'm not commenting on the merits here, but shouldn't he have learned the "ins and outs" of essential service ... before he had TTC made an essential service?
 

Palma

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I agree that's exactly what they want, but unfortunately we need to defend our livelihood and your right to get an ambulance when you call 911. All we want is to be treated fairly and equally, we have been a quiet and apathetic group for far too long IMO. And just to be clear it's not our intention to turn this into a pissing match between the unions, but you kinda need to scratch your head when Fire and Police are getting generous raises and we're being asked to cut 10% of our salary and benefits...
This is ridiculous. How can anyone not see how unfair this is. EMS deserves generous raises not the police. How can there even be a discussion on this. And for the councilors who voted the way they did - it just reminds me of party politics at the provincial and federal level and it should not be that way at the municipal level. This executive committee that exists needs to be abandoned. That is all Miller's fault because I think he instituted this executive committee, Guess he thought there would never be any right wing politician elected for mayor. EMS needs to get to hire a good PR person - something the workers collecting garbage failed to do. And not wanting to extend EMS arbitration privileges like police and fire and the TTC is also wrong. I mean how can the TTC have this and not EMS. Something is wrong here. Obviously Ford had no idea what being called an essential service would mean. He keeps saying he did what he promised he would do once he became mayor and one was to make TTC an essential service. Guess he did not realize what this meant in terms of costs.
 
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DanTheMan

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This is ridiculous. How can anyone not see how unfair this is. EMS deserves generous raises not the police. How can there even be a discussion on this. And for the councilors who voted the way they did - it just reminds me of party politics at the provincial and federal level and it should not be that way at the municipal level. This executive committee that exists needs to be abandoned. That is all Miller's fault because I think he instituted this executive committee, Guess he thought there would never be any right wing politician elected for mayor. EMS needs to get to hire a good PR person - something the workers collecting garbage failed to do. And not wanting to extend EMS arbitration privileges like police and fire and the TTC is also wrong. I mean how can the TTC have this and not EMS. Something is wrong here. Obviously Ford had no idea what being called an essential service would mean. He keeps saying he did what he promised he would do once he became mayor and one was to make TTC an essential service. Guess he did not realize what this meant in terms of costs.
I'm personally not sure what to make of Rob Ford, he said on national TV during his last debate that he would make us essential like fire and police if elected, but then he votes against it, and then this week he mentions it again... :confused:

EMS actually did hire a full time PR person I believe two years ago, she's doing a decent job getting us more credit in the paper when we're involved in something. Unfortunately if it's anything worth reporting we're generally gone well before the cameras arrive, so we continue to be ghosts to a lot of the public. We also don't have a couple hundred years of entrenched hero status like fire and police, we're a relatively young profession so it's an uphill battle.
Everything has really been grassroots so far, we went door-to-door to thousands of homes in the summer, we flooded council chambers with medics deputizing in the fall.

Like most things though, nobody really pays attention until it affects them personally, or someone dies. Look at the last strike, not a peep in the media about us until the gentleman dies on Alexander St....unfortunately a lot of us live in the city and almost all of us actually care about our patients, so we're not really willing to watch the level of pre-hospital care in this city continue to spiral downward.

Thanks for the support everybody!
There's a petition here that's been out in the wild for a few days:
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/legislate-ontario-paramedic-ems-services-as/
There's also an excellent provincial campaign that auto-generates letters to the premier/health minister.
http://sendthepros.ca/
 
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