Building Power for EMS Workers
AFSCME currently represents over 23,000 emergency medical services (EMS) professionals in 23 states across the country. AFSCME has organized 3,000 EMS employees in the private sector since the 2012 AFSCME convention; and
EMS is a critical component of public safety and our nation’s health care system. EMS plays a vital role in ensuring citizens in our communities receive expedient and quality medical care during emergency medical situations. The passage of the Affordable Care Act will present the opportunity for changes in the EMS industry and reimbursement models for EMS services; and
There are over 150,000 private sector workers across the country providing EMS services and less than 10 percent of the industry is unionized. Wages, benefits and health and safety standards across the EMS industry vary widely and many EMS professionals face low pay, lack access to affordable, comprehensive health care and do not have the equipment they need to do their jobs right; and
With a greater percentage of the EMS industry unionized with AFSCME as their union, EMS professionals will be better able to play a strong role in advocating for changes in local, state and federal EMS policy.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED
AFSCME will support organizing of EMS professionals across the country; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:
AFSCME councils and locals will engage local governments who contract EMS services to ensure that privatization is not used to lower professional standards and diminish services on the backs of those providing these services. Local contracts must be transparent and protect standards for workers and the community; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED:
AFSCME will advocate for EMS system restructuring and funding that ensures patients receive the right care, by the right provider, at the right place and at the right cost.
Israel Miranda, President and Delegate
Oren Barzilay, Recording Secretary and Delegate
AFSCME Local 2507, District Council 37 New York