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1,800 EMS Workers Ratify 3-Year Contract with AMR

Emergency medical service (EMS) professionals working in 13 counties across California have voted to ratify a new 3-year agreement with the ambulance company, American Medical Response. The deal will improve safety by limiting the number of consecutive work shifts, provide pay increases, and protect health care for the nation’s largest collective bargaining unit of private EMS personnel.

“Standing together in a union gives us strength to improve patient care and provide security for our families,” said Sami Abed, a 13-year paramedic in Santa Cruz county and president of United EMS Workers-AFSCME Local 4911. “Having that power is important for EMS professionals anywhere.”

The new collective bargaining agreement improves work conditions for nearly 1,800 EMTs, paramedics, dispatchers, registered nurses, mechanics, vehicle supply technicians and office support personnel employed at AMR in the following counties: Contra Costa, Placer, Sacramento, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sonoma, Tulare and Yolo.

The victory is the result of 2 years of intense negotiations with a company that—despite growing corporate profits—proposed increasing workers’ health insurance premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs. Workers rejected the company’s backward proposals and stood united for a contract that advances their profession while improving EMS in their communities.