Cleveland EMS Workers Protest City Hall

EMS workers in Cleveland picketed in front of city hall on Wednesday, the first of two planned events. Employees are fighting for better mental health benefits. (Twitter photo/@CARE_1975)

CLEVELAND — Carrying picket signs that read “Understaffed and Overworked” and “CEMS Is Broken,” Cleveland EMS workers rallied in front of city hall on Wednesday fighting for better mental health benefits.

The union has complained for years about poor working conditions and equipment. Another event is planned tomorrow by Local 1975 of the Cleveland Association of Rescue Employees union to pressure Mayor Frank Jackson’s administration.

The union is also handling an email campaign as union brass say the city’s administration refuses to settle the 2016 contract that will provide mental health accommodations for EMS providers.

The city has reportedly argued the judge’s ruling on the matter would be a waste of taxpayer money.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) expressed his support for the union in a letter. “As first responders and emergency care providers, you work every day to ensure that Ohioans are safe and well cared for in their times of greatest need,” he wrote. “When so many of us would run away from danger, your members are the first to run into it.”

Livestream of today’s protest by WKYC-TV.