Mohawk Ambulance workers fighting for raise
October 15, 2018 01:12 PM
ALBANY - Mohawk Ambulance workers are fighting for a raise. They say the long hours they work can create dangerous situations for people who rely on them in emergencies.
The workers rallied on Central Avenue in Albany on Monday. They are looking for more than $12.51 an hour. The United Professional Services Employees would at least like $15 an hour.
They say there has been no movement on the contract that expired on April 1.
The union says that has led to chronic staff shortages, people finding other work that pays better and fill-ins working longer hours during the week, which leads to safety issues including driving the ambulance.
The company says a maximum shift a union member can work is 26 hours in a 34-hour period, but the union says the company needs to pay them more.
"I think the public needs to know that the people who are coming to save them, that are coming to help them at 2:00 in the morning over an embankment in their car, or whatever, are making less than fast food worker minimum wage," explained Daniel Schuttig, with UPSEU. "The ownership of Mohawk Ambulance doesn't seem to care."
Mohawk Ambulance released the following statement:
"Mohawk Ambulance Service is currently engaged in negotiations with its employee union. Wages and benefits are part of these negotiations. It is the Company's hope that an agreement will be reached and we will continue to work toward this goal. A meeting between the Company and the Union is scheduled for later this week.
"Existing wage rates were not unilaterally imposed by Mohawk Ambulance Service; they were agreed to with the Union during negotiations three years ago. The Company has made every attempt to meet with the Union's Bargaining Unit, but talks were delayed by the employee union.
"As the current contract states, except in emergency situations, the maximum shift a bargaining unit member can work is twenty-six (26) hours in a thirty-four (34) hour consecutive period. The bargaining unit member shall have at least eight (8) consecutive hours of rest in between such consecutive shifts. The Union agreed to these hours in the 2015 – 2018 contract.
"In the current negotiations, Mohawk Ambulance Service has proposed to shorten the number of consecutive hours an employee can work in any shift. The union has not agreed to the Company's proposals.
"As always, we are committed to offering all employees fair wages, a comprehensive and affordable benefits package, training opportunities, a safe workplace and stable employment. Our employees, and their compassionate work, are what make Mohawk Ambulance Service great. We will continue to work with them, and support them for the benefit of all within this company, and within the communities we serve."
James P. McPartlon, III
President, Mohawk Ambulance Service
Updated: October 15, 2018 01:12 PM
Created: October 15, 2018 01:09 PM
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