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Merritt paramedics looking for the same collective bargaining rights as firefighters and police officers.

Local paramedic Leanne Dynneson says they are petitioning to be designated as an essential service under the newly named Ambulance, Fire and Police Services Collective Bargaining Act, to be able to bargain for more full time position.

"Right now, it takes a part-time paramedic about five-years become full-time. But, if we could bargain more for full-time positions, more people would stick it out. Right now, we are losing so many paramedics in the process, because how can you support a family?"

Dynneson says when on call, paramedics are paid as little as $2 an hour.

Local paramedics collected 81 signatures at the Merritt Legion Saturday.

Signatures from 10% of registered voters in each of BC's electoral districts is needed by April 9th, for the petition to succeed.