$3.7M in back pay, PTSD coverage part of Cleveland EMS contract

The newly-approved contract is a win for Cleveland's EMS union following a years-long legal battle and protests


By Laura French

CLEVELAND — Cleveland EMS providers will now be covered for PTSD and receive about $3.7 million in back pay following the passing of a new EMS contract, which comes after a lengthy legal battle between union officials and the city. 

The newly-approved contract includes paid leave for mental health trauma and more competitive wages, along with back pay, according to 19 News. CARE Local 1975 has been negotiating the contract since 2016. 

Cleveland EMS providers will receive $3.7 million in back pay and be allowed paid leave for PTSD under a newly-approved union contract. (Photo/CARE Local 1975 Facebook)
Cleveland EMS providers will receive $3.7 million in back pay and be allowed paid leave for PTSD under a newly-approved union contract. (Photo/CARE Local 1975 Facebook)

City officials have repeatedly challenged the inclusion of paid time off for PTSD in court, spurring protests, including a sit-in, picket parade and email campaign held in January. The city has argued that employees might abuse the leave system. 

The contract outlines circumstances that can qualify EMS providers to receive time off for mental health trauma, including calls involving loved ones or coworkers, calls involving children and multiple-casualty incidents. 

Local 1975 President Paul Melhuish says he believes the new contract may be one of the first in the U.S. to include specific coverage for PTSD. 

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