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Ambulance workers unionize

Associated Ambulance and Services Ltd. employees in Sylvan Lake voted 65 per cent in favour of becoming members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

The vote, held about four weeks ago, was counted last week after the Alberta Labour Relations Board sided with CUPE to allow only the Sylvan Lake workers to vote.

Associated Ambulance argued the vote should be extended to all its workers around Alberta, some of whom are already represented by another union.

A total of 12 full-time and assorted part-time Associated Ambulance Sylvan Lake staff are now CUPE members.

“In the end, the votes were counted and we got a union in there so we’re pretty happy with the results,” said Lou Arab, CUPE communications representative, on Tuesday.

Associated Ambulance workers joined CUPE to address workplace issues related to consistency of rules, schedules and overtime.

On April 1, Associated Ambulance was awarded a five-year contract from Alberta Health Services to expand into Rocky Mountain House, Sylvan Lake and Ma-Me-O Beach.

Sylvan Lake was previously served by Lakeside Emergency Medical Services Ltd.

In Central Alberta, Associated also operates in Rimbey and serves Drayton Valley and Breton, north of Rimbey.

Arab said Sylvan Lake is the only Associated Ambulance station represented by CUPE.

Associated Ambulance serves 21 communities in the province.

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