City of Cleveland denying PTSD support for EMS workers

Lo2w

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"Cleveland paramedics, EMTs and dispatchers are fighting the city for post-traumatic stress disorder support in their new contract.

But those negotiations are now on hold.

The city of Cleveland just sent the union a letter asking to throw out an arbitrator ruling, that would have provided them that support."

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E tank

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Most large employers already have an EAP benefit. Makes you wonder if the city considers PTSD services to be in place already. That begs the question, though. What does PTSD support mean?
 

Lo2w

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Most large employers already have an EAP benefit. Makes you wonder if the city considers PTSD services to be in place already. That begs the question, though. What does PTSD support mean?
We have EAP, I believe the union's goal is to have service and support on par with fire and PD as well as PTSD being covered as a duty injury.
 

DrParasite

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I'd heard of similar things when it comes to private services, but not in a municipal service. I did find it humorous that both parties agreed to go to arbitration, and when the arbitrator sided with the union, the city then asked the the union to set aside the arbitrator's ruling.

I also think it's pretty sad that the city "opposes paid leave for mental trauma “due to the difficulties associated with verifying such claims, potential for abuse", yet they have no issues issues with the PD and FD having this protection, nor any documented claims of abuse from the existing city agencies that already have this protection.

I'm curious what the unions next steps will be.
 

Lo2w

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I'd heard of similar things when it comes to private services, but not in a municipal service. I did find it humorous that both parties agreed to go to arbitration, and when the arbitrator sided with the union, the city then asked the the union to set aside the arbitrator's ruling.

I also think it's pretty sad that the city "opposes paid leave for mental trauma “due to the difficulties associated with verifying such claims, potential for abuse", yet they have no issues issues with the PD and FD having this protection, nor any documented claims of abuse from the existing city agencies that already have this protection.

I'm curious what the unions next steps will be.
Speaking with the attorney was the last update.
 

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I also think it's pretty sad that the city "opposes paid leave for mental trauma “due to the difficulties associated with verifying such claims, potential for abuse", yet they have no issues issues with the PD and FD having this protection...
Odds are, they do have a problem with it. It just isn't a hill they're willing to die on against those unions...Just a guess here, but those unions are far more intimidating than most any other...
 

VinceVega91

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The union has 30 days to make a decision to take this to court and from what I hear when it comes to these sort of issues, the judge typically sides with whatever the arbitrator decided on in the first place. It’s just the city and administration of CEMS that are stalling with this. Bottom line to take from this is, the city of Cleveland does NOT care about their public safety employees, especially EMS.
 

DrParasite

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The union has 30 days to make a decision to take this to court and from what I hear when it comes to these sort of issues, the judge typically sides with whatever the arbitrator decided on in the first place.
If your union leadership had any balls, they wouldn't need 30 days to make a decision: it would be "we went to arbitration, and you want the arbitrators ruling put aside because they didn't side with you? Mr. attorney, please file the lawsuit to enforce the arbitrator's ruling, as the city doesn't intend to" It would take 3 days, maybe a week if they wanted a formal vote from the union members. Failing to do this would show extreme weakness on the side of the union.
It’s just the city and administration of CEMS that are stalling with this. Bottom line to take from this is, the city of Cleveland does NOT care about their public safety employees, especially EMS.
It seems like they care enough about the Fire and PD to give them what they need.... And people wonder why EMS is treated like a stepping stone, while FD and PD are actual careers.....
 

VinceVega91

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The story behind it was that the city and our OWN commissioner of EMS had 90 days to make the decision to appeal what the arbitrator ruled or vacate the arbitration from September to December 17th at 5pm, and our commissioner chose to vacate the arbitration at 4pm on December 17th. So our union is going to play the game of waiting until the last possible second to file their appeal and take this to court. There’s obviously a lot of problems between our own commissioner (a convicted felon in the state of Illinois) and our union (us field, dispatch, and office personnel).

In the contract also, it not only included agreements to PTSD support for our personnel, but also our raises, our retro pay in which each of the approximate 300 employees is owed an average of 5 grand a person, activating our Star Days which is like a Kelly Day for firemen (paid day off every few weeks) as of right now our Star Days are paid out as opposed to getting the day off, and our dispatchers would get 12 hour shifts instead of 8 hour shifts.
 

DrParasite

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The story behind it was that the city and our OWN commissioner of EMS had 90 days to make the decision to appeal what the arbitrator ruled or vacate the arbitration from September to December 17th at 5pm, and our commissioner chose to vacate the arbitration at 4pm on December 17th.
yeah, that's pretty shady, but don't forget, your commissioner IS the city, or more accurately, a person appointed by the mayor. He is looking out for the mayor's best interests, not yours. He might be the appointed boss, and sometimes might be liked by the people under him, but he isn't always going to be looking out for your best interests.
So our union is going to play the game of waiting until the last possible second to file their appeal and take this to court. There’s obviously a lot of problems between our own commissioner (a convicted felon in the state of Illinois) and our union (us field, dispatch, and office personnel).
That's a stupid game; the only people who lose are the field staff who are unable to get the services. I can assure you, the city isn't losing sleep over some unhappy EMS workers.
In the contract also, it not only included agreements to PTSD support for our personnel, but also our raises, our retro pay in which each of the approximate 300 employees is owed an average of 5 grand a person, activating our Star Days which is like a Kelly Day for firemen (paid day off every few weeks) as of right now our Star Days are paid out as opposed to getting the day off, and our dispatchers would get 12 hour shifts instead of 8 hour shifts.
Yeah, we finally got our retro pay.... taxes ate up a bunch of it, and lawsuits were filed, but that was what was needed to get our contract mandated raises approved. had to wait years for it to finally get settled...

Not sure what a star day is.... you get paid for Kelly days? The whole point of them is to not have to pay OT for those kelly days....

Although working 3 12s vs 5 8s is definitely appealing, especially when working in dispatch.....
 

DrParasite

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From https://www.emsworld.com/news/1221904/cleveland-ems-union-releases-statement-ptsd-benefit

“The Cleveland Association of Rescue Employees, ILA Local 1975 (CARE) is extremely disappointed in the news that the City of Cleveland moved to vacate the Arbitration Award for its 2016‐2019 Collective Bargaining Agreement. CARE represents the nearly 300 Paramedics, Emergency Medical Technicians and Emergency Medical Dispatchers who work for the City of Cleveland, Division of EMS

“Per the labor agreement between CARE and the City, disputes concerning the labor agreement are to be resolved through negotiations, and if necessary, final and binding arbitration. The parties’ bargaining disputes were resolved through a lengthy negotiation and arbitration process. The City, however, is unhappy with the Arbitrator’s decision and is now attempting to reverse that decision at the cost of the EMS employees and the City’s taxpayers.”

The most recent collective bargaining agreement between Cleveland EMS and the city expired in April 2016, Paul Melhuish, president of CARE 1975, told EMS World. This arbitration award is for the current contract, which would expire April 1, 2019. "By filing in the court of appeals to vacate the award, [the city] could delay this contract up to two more years (assuming all appeals are used), as well as the next contract," Melhuish said.
 

Remi

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So is the PTSD support really the main sticking point here, or is that just one issue out of many in a contract that the two sides can't agree on?
 

VinceVega91

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So is the PTSD support really the main sticking point here, or is that just one issue out of many in a contract that the two sides can't agree on?
It’s just one issue out of many. The other issues include raises, retro pay, star days (a paid day off every few weeks), and a no fault sick policy.
 

Remi

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It’s just one issue out of many. The other issues include raises, retro pay, star days (a paid day off every few weeks), and a no fault sick policy.
That’s what I figured. So basically the news article was completely misleading.

Leave it to the unions to lie to the public and the media to go right along with it.
 
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