Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Woot! Teamster EMT strike results in victory!

We just got some great news from Buffalo, where 400 of our brothers and sisters from Local 375 went on strike over wages and benefits at 12:01 a.m. today. After 21 hours of negotiating, Teamster EMTs and paramedics at Rural/Metro reached a tentative agreement early this morning. They're back to work and getting ready to vote in the next few days on a contract that includes wage increases and better benefits.

Kevin Drysdale, president of Local 375, said the members are proud to serve Buffalo.
Because of the important work they do as first responders, we needed to secure an agreement with good wages and working conditions. 
Dennis Wellspeak, a 20-year employee, said the citizens of Buffalo are his neighbors and friends.
I am pleased that we won a fair tentative agreement with Rural/Metro. To think that Rural/Metro was at one point offering higher hourly wages to temporary workers was quite a shock, but we fought hard to win a new agreement that respects us.
Early this morning in Buffalo. 
Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz was worried that Rural/Metro brought in scabs from Kentucky or Ohio.
How would they know the city streets? This is not in the best interest of this community.
State Sen. Tim Kennedy urged the employer to consider a fair offer that reflects the important work "these brave and dedicated first-responders provide our community every day.”

Another letter of support for the EMTs and paramedics came from the executive director of the New York State Nurses Association.  “The RNs of the New York State Nurses Association are proud to stand with Local 375 and the communities they serve,” wrote Jill Furillo, RN.

Our brothers and sisters also got supportive tweets like this one from Frontier Fire Co. ‏
@FrontierVFC 7h
We sympathize with EMTs & Paramedics of @Teamsters local 375 striking against @RuralMetroWNY, especially our own