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Latest News - June 2013

June 24, 2013
Union says Rural Metro workers may strike
Source: Buffalo Business First
By: Tracey DruryBuffalo

With its labor contract due to expire June 30, union workers at Rural/Metro Medical Services have voted to authorize a strike.

Paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) represented by Teamsters Local 375 this week passed a strike authorization vote, enabling union representatives to issue a 10-day strike notice to the company.

Jay Smith, Rural/Metro’s general manager, said negotiations to date have been positive and productive and he believes they will remain so. The strike authorization vote does not mean a strike is a sure thing, but that union leadership has permission from members to exercise the option, he said.

“When structuring a new labor agreement it is common practice for both parties at the table to leave every option at their disposal,” he said. “We respect the process and remain committed to working in cooperation with union leadership to reach a mutually beneficial agreement in a timely fashion.”

Based in Scottsdale, Ariz., Rural/Metro Corp. is a national provider of emergency services in 22 states. Locally, the company is based in Buffalo with satellite offices and ambulance bases in Cheektowaga, Hamburg and Niagara Falls. The workforce includes more than 550 employees, including 450 EMTs and paramedics, and a fleet of 90 emergency vehicles that responds to more than 120,000 calls annually across Erie and Niagara counties.

The current agreement was reached in 2009, with members working for 10 months without a contract after the previous agreement expired.

The two sides began negotiating in early April for a new labor agreement. Negotiations are scheduled to resume on June 26.



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