The EMS professionals at American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance service in Washington, D.C., recently ratified their first contract after organizing with EMS Workers United/AFSCME District Council 20 last year. The agreement tackles many problems EMTs and paramedics had been facing at the private ambulance service, including poorly stocked and poorly maintained ambulances. “We decided to organize because we had three main issues – we wanted working equipment, fair scheduling and fair pay,” said EMT Lindsay Washington. “We are our patients’ primary providers. Without working equipment, we cannot give them the best care possible.” Under their newly ratified contract, employees’ base pay will increase, with regular wages in the future and a better health care package. While they’re proud of the gains they’ve achieved, the EMS professionals aren’t satisfied. “This was a big step,” said Kyle Kemerer. “Now, we want to utilize the framework of the contract to continue to keep the company in line, improve operations and improve the working conditions.” Read more here.
- by Pete Levine and Dave Kreisman; photo by Mike Imbrogno