EMS Democracy or EMS Dictatorship
There are by-elections to replace retiring MPPs or MPs, or general elections to decide the next mayor, councillor or prime minister.So let’s float a borrowed idea that, in my mind anyway, seems to have merit.
Hold a general election every four years for EMS, fire and police management from supervisors up. Any non-union position is open for election.
Arguments for the potential removal of management positions every four years is not unlike the change of municipal, provincial or federal governments.
The idea may seem a little far fetched but bear with me. The details can be worked out and with a little tweak here and there, it may just work.
Those managers, supervisors or whatever they call themselves who are doing a horrible job will hate this idea. Those that do a good job, provide value for the dollar, treat the staff well, keep the vehicles serviced and do their intended jobs have nothing to fear.
Potentially the long-term effects could save money, lead to a happy crew and better labour-management relations. Management will have to keep the staff informed, resulting in fewer grievances. There would be more staff input into the daily operations of the service—which equipment needs to be purchased, style of uniforms, everything.
A notice is placed in the local paper and on the service/county or provincial website with openings for supervisors, managers, assistant managers, chiefs, deputy chiefs or whatever position in management is available.
Anyone can apply for the open position and everyone gets to vote. All the medics, secretaries, councillors and basically anyone who has a vested interest in the daily operation of the service can vote, aside from the public.
Anyone—absolutely anyone—can submit their intent to run, formulate a campaign strategy and pitch their platforms.
The union would have to make concessions as well. Anyone from the union who runs for office from within their service can have a one term leave of absence. This would encourage those who truly feel they can make a difference to run for office. A two term position would lose the right to return to the union.
For the next six to eight weeks, candidates place ads, talk to the medics and councillors and explain why they should be elected to the position they have applied for. Voting takes place with approved observers who oversee the polls.
Staff and councillors vote to make their choice and for the next four years you will have elected management who will truly represent the workers. When a hard decision has to be made, a more transparent management will have to explain their direction instead of blindly implementing policies or change.
This new system would ensure that those who do a good job and treat the staff well, and make intelligent, well thought out policies will keep their jobs. Those who abuse their position can suffer the same fate as Richard Nixon and be impeached for violating the cannons of office or lose the next election. In a time when abuse of privilege is hidden and not spoken of, responsible management would be strived for by those in power.
It would result in an EMS democracy instead of an EMS dictatorship.