Video: Calif. EMS providers picket for higher wages
Alameda County EMS providers employed by Falck are protesting what they say are pay levels significantly lower than those seen in neighboring counties
By Laura French
ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. — Falck EMS providers in a California county picketed last week to demand higher wages following months of negotiations.
The Alameda County EMTs and paramedics, represented by the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) Local 510, protested at Falck officers in Hayward Tuesday night and in downtown Oakland Wednesday, according to the East Bay Express.
Union officials said Alameda County EMS providers are earning 15-20% lower wages than providers in the neighboring counties of Santa Clara and Contra Costa, despite similar costs of living.
Incredible turnout for NAGE EMS local 510 on the picket line today fighting for fair wages in Alameda County, CA with City Council and State Assembly candidates in attendance. You can support these heroes now by writing to Alameda supervisors at acgov.org/board demanding fair pay for these first responders! #unionfamily #workaction #fairwages #californiastateassembly #firstresponderstrong #EMS #alamedacountyca
Falck offered annual pay increases and cost-of-living adjustments of 2-6.7% on Wednesday and released a statement saying the average yearly pay of an EMS provider in Alameda County is $100,000. Union officials responded, saying providers only earn that amount working more than 90 hours per week, accruing overtime and "never going home," according to the East Bay Express.
NAGE Local 510 National Representative Dary Sardad said Falck's offer to increase pay is a step in the right direction but still does not meet the needs of employees, whose work puts them at risk of contracting COVID-19. Sardad would not say whether providers planned to strike but said that nothing was off the table in negotiations.
The union plans to protest Monday in solidarity with Services Employees International Union Local 1021, the California Nurses Association and International Longshoremen and Warehouse Workers Local 6, who will be holding a five-day strike beginning on Oct. 7.
Amazing support from Alexis Villalobos , Hayward Challenger Slate 2020 , and Nestor Castillo 4 Hayward City Council in...Posted by International Association of EMTs and Paramedics (IAEP) on Wednesday, September 30, 2020