This article appears in the online version of the Daily News Los Angeles. It was reported on May 1 2008 by Jerry Berrios, Staff Writer.
The strike involving nearly 300 paramedics and emergency medical technicians in the Antelope, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys has ended.
AMR, a private ambulance company that contracts with Los Angeles County, and the International Association of EMTs and Paramedics came to a tentative labor agreement Wednesday night.
"The strike is over," said AMR spokesman Jason Sorrick. "Our employees are coming back to work. We are moving forward, and we will continue to provide the best emergency service to the citizens we serve."
According to AMR, the agreement calls for employees' wages to increase by 20 percent over the next four years, retroactive to November 2007. The company also will not make any changes to employee health-care benefits through December.
"I believe that the contract is fair and equitable," said Matthew Levy, national director of the IAEP.
Levy said the contract addresses most of the workers' concerns. Instead of the 6 percent annual raise workers wanted, they are getting 5 percent. Instead of having AMR the company paying 80 percent of health-care costs, it AMR is paying 75 percent of the premium employee health-care plan.
"It was worthwhile as we got some of the concessions we wanted," Levy said.
The workers went on strike at 8 a.m. Monday. Pickets gathered at the AMR stations in Lancaster and Irwindale. AMR brought in employees from other areas of California, Oregon and Missouri to operate ambulances.
The majority of the employees returned to work Thursday and the remainder will come back to work today.
County officials monitored the strike through conference calls with AMR management and others, e-mail with firefighters and verifying ambulance worker credentials at area hospitals.
"We are very pleased that the work action is over," said Cathy Chidester, acting director of L.A. County's Emergency Medical Services Agency. "We think it was handled well by all affected parties."
It goes to show what Paramedics can do when they wiggle in a collective fashion. Good job guys from The Apocalypse Papers!