Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

April 16, 2008 12:55 ET

Media Advisory/Photo Opportunity: Paramedics Push for Right to Retire at 60 Like Police, Firefighters; Will Rally in Toronto

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 16, 2008) - Like police and firefighters, paramedics provide a public service often under hazardous, high stress conditions. However, they are not treated the same way when it comes to pensions.

Citing issues of fairness and safety, paramedics from across Ontario will gather in downtown Toronto on Thursday, April 17 to call for the right to retire with full pension at age 60. Because that requires changes to the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) plan, the paramedics will conduct an information picket in front of the OMERS Sponsors Corporation offices, where Corporation directors will be meeting.

The federal government designated paramedics as a Public Safety Occupation in 2005 with police and firefighters. Unlike those professions, however, paramedics do not have the right to retire at age 60 with a full pension.

"The federal government has recognized that the public safety nature of our work can take a toll on our health, the same as police and firefighters," says Jamie Ramage, chair of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union's (OPSEU) Ambulance Division Executive, whose members are attending the union's annual convention in Toronto. "That's why we are asking OMERS Sponsor Corporation directors to support the changes to the plan that would give us the right to negotiate retirement at 60 with a full pension."

"In many cases, the initial emergency care provided by paramedics is the deciding factor between life and death, temporary or permanent disability, a brief confinement or prolonged hospitalization for a patient," says Mike Dick, Co-chair of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario's Ambulance Committee. "Like police and firefighters, I need to be able to make the choice whether to retire at 60 with a full pension."

WHAT: Information Picket by Ontario Paramedics
DATE: Thursday, April 17, 2008
TIME: 8:30 a.m.
PLACE: 1 University Avenue - Front Entrance

Ramage and Dick, part of a coalition of paramedics that includes the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), will be on hand to speak to members of the media and the public at the event.

Contact Information

  • OPSEU Communications
    David Cox
    (416) 788-9197
    CUPE Communications
    Valerie Dugale
    (647) 225-3685