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New England EMS Workers on Their Way to Joining AFSCME

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By Justin Lee Organizing
James Slattery
James Slattery

BOSTON –  Six hundred EMS Workers in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire are one step closer to United EMS Workers, a  union founded on AFSCME’s national strength and unity.

A majority filled out cards calling for unionization with United EMS Workers-AFSCME Local 4911, which will give them a voice in the life-saving services they provide. On Tuesday they filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board requesting a union election.

James Slattery, an EMS worker at American Medical Response (AMR) from Taunton, Mass., has worked his entire life in public service and has seen Emergency Medical Services transform into a recognized profession. He began volunteering on an ambulance when he was just 14 years old. Having spent 52 years of his life working and advocating for EMS, Slattery says this is the first time his colleagues will have a democratically run union.

Lisa Scardino
Lisa Scardino

“AMR is a national company – and that’s more reason for us to have a strong national union as United EMS Workers-AFSCME Local 4911,” Slattery said. “Building our own EMS local with AFSCME will ensure that we have a strong foundation with democracy and oversight.”

Lisa Scardino, a 16-year EMS worker employed with AMR is standing with her co-workers because she believes the union is a strong advocate for patients.

“A vote for United EMS Workers is about making sure we always get the best training available and that patients always get the best care possible,” she said.