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Ornge air ambulance says service will continue despite labour issues with paramedics

Click to play video: 'Ornge paramedics plan as hundreds of GTA COVID-19 patient transfers expected' Ornge paramedics plan as hundreds of GTA COVID-19 patient transfers expected
WATCH ABOVE: Ornge paramedics plan as hundreds of GTA COVID-19 patient transfers expected – Apr 23, 2021

TORONTO — Ontario’s air ambulance service says it’s committed to serving patients without disruption as labour strife with its paramedics continues.

Unifor, which represents Ornge workers, says paramedics voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action, if necessary, in a vote tabulated Friday.

Read more: Union representing Ontario’s Ornge paramedics in favour of strike if necessary

A union spokesman says Ornge paramedics fall under the Ambulance Services Collective Bargaining Act, so an essential service agreement must be in place before any strike or lockout.

Unifor says the two sides are awaiting a date to meet with the Ontario Labour Relations Board to mediate an essential service agreement.

Click to play video: 'The delicate task of transferring ICU patients to other hospitals' The delicate task of transferring ICU patients to other hospitals
The delicate task of transferring ICU patients to other hospitals – Apr 23, 2021

Paramedics have taken issue a provincial law that came into effect in 2019 and caps public sector wage increases to one per cent per year.

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Ornge paramedics have been instrumental in helping transfer critically ill COVID-19 patients to intensive care units across the province, and have also helped with vaccination in remote communities.

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