EMS Professionals Coast-to-Coast Vote to Join AFSCME

by Joe Lawrence  |  October 02, 2012

New England EMS workers
New England EMS workers celebrate the results of their union representation election.

BOSTON – More than 2,300 paramedics, emergency medical technicians and support staff in California and New England voted this past week to join United EMS Workers-AFSCME Local 4911. 

Eighteen-hundred EMS professionals in more than a dozen counties in California won their union representation election Wednesday, and an additional 500 in New England did so Friday. All the workers are employed by American Medical Response.

In each election, EMS workers went with United EMS Workers-AFSCME in resounding numbers. In California they voted nearly 4 to 1 for the union; New England upped the ante with a 9 to 1 margin in their tally.

EMS workers across the country are uniting with AFSCME, which already represents 20,000 EMS professionals, for a greater role in patient care and their profession.  That includes ensuring there is adequate staffing, enough ambulances on the street and that workers receive the best possible training and equipment.

Earlier this year, 600 workers in Santa Clara and Solano Counties, Calif., also voted to stand with AFSCME.

“This is a great victory, and it means we’ll be getting more respect for what we do,” said Brockton, Mass., paramedic Matt Anderson. “For EMS in general it means we’re on our way to making this a profession and not just a job.”

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