Transit Union Local 757 reaches accord with ambulance service AMR

Less than a week after workers at American Medical Response's (AMR) Portland area unit voted to authorize a strike, they had a deal with management.

About 350 emergency medical technicians and dispatchers represented by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 voted May 13 on the company's revised offer, in which the ambulance provider backed away from demands that workers pay part of their health insurance coverage. The company also agreed to substantial raises, an extra paid holiday, and an increased uniform allowance.

While the results of the contract vote were not available as of press time, members were expected to approve the contract, which the union viewed as a significant victory.

Under the new three year contract, basic paramedic salaries will rise from $39,243 to $51,246, while lead paramedic salaries will rise from $44,443 to $52,815. The raises amount to 28 percent over the three years.

The agreement covers AMR workers in Multnomah and Clackamas counties in Oregon and Clark and Cowlitz counties in Washington.

Local 757 President Al Zullo attributes the company's changed position to the level of unity in the workforce. The vote to reject the company's previous offer was 326 to 19. Zullo said after the strike vote, the two sides reached agreement with no concessions by the union side.

AMR is a division of Laidlaw Inc., which has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy since June 2001.

May 16, 2003 issue

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