Unions for EMS

hoisanjai

Forum Crew Member
35
0
0
Well I live in Chicago, I worked a pretty good ambulance company they provide us with our 50 cent increase every year. We get gift cards and bonuses for certain holiday seasons. And now we are being targeted by National Emergency Medical Service Association. I am against unions by the way, I believe that they should be rid of because the federal govt. put a lot of regulation in place to keep us fairly safe in the work place. I have spoke with certain employees that are for it. They think thay should get paid more, but Chicago have 10 ambulance companies and they all pay approximately the same. I am in nursing school atm and I will make more money by achieving a higher education. One person said they should make par with CFD. I think that statement is retarded. Anyways, all inputs welcome.

P.S. Typing on a cell phone is a hitch, but i felt like ranting.
 

Aidey

Community Leader Emeritus
4,800
11
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Unions have their pros and cons. They aren't 100% about keeping people safe either. Most of what my union does is make sure the rules are being applied consistently, and help bargain for wages/benefits. It sounds like your employer is one of the better ones, other people are not always as lucky.
 
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hoisanjai

Forum Crew Member
35
0
0
We just got rid of NEMSA. Do some research on them.

Unions to me means the company's management has failed. Unions tend to artificially increase wages. Unions tend to have fees therefore they are in it for the money. I already hate paying taxes, and now I don't want more money taken out of my paycheck. I myself am pro-business, and I believe that we are paid the amount base on the local wages and plus our profession is over saturated. We are so expendable, sorry but it's true.
 

bigbaldguy

Former medic seven years 911 service in houston
4,043
41
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I am against unions by the way, I believe that they should be rid of because the federal govt. put a lot of regulation in place to keep us fairly safe in the work place.

Google modern safety laws/regulations.
 

adamjh3

Forum Culinary Powerhouse
1,873
6
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If you're happy with the way the company treats you, and you're management gives half a crap about you, don't go union.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
5,781
1,774
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If you're happy with the way the company treats you, and you're management gives half a crap about you, don't go union.
sound advice.

Unions DON'T always mean more money, especially in your take home pay. Also remember, you can want to make $100 an hour, but unless your employer agrees to pay you $100 an hour no union will make a difference. now if you can negotiate that and management agrees to it, more power to you.

the biggest advantage unions provide is someone to push back against management when management tries to screw you. Ie, you have a 10 mile response for a call, and your supervisor is writing you up for not getting there in the "under 11 minute" standard.

Or if you are supposed to get a uniform allowance, and suddenly management makes the decision that you are to pay for all uniforms out of your own pocket.

or if your ambulance is unsafe to drive, and your boss says if you don't accept the truck you are terminated for refusing the job.

Plus, too many ambulance companies are looking to cut corners at the expense of the employees. Having a union can be beneficial, but if you are going to be fired for breaking a rule, the only thing a union will do is ensure that you are being fired according to the rulebook.

BTW, look at http://www.iaep.org/ http://www.nemsausa.org/ IAFF (although in my experience, if you aren't Fire based or firefighter, they will take your money and smile, but you won't get any support from other locals, and if they have a FD issue somewhere else, all the resources they promise you will vanish in a blink of an eye) and see what other locals might apply (my agency has the Teamsters as our union).
 

Missedcue

Forum Crew Member
40
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0
sound advice.

Unions DON'T always mean more money, especially in your take home pay. Also remember, you can want to make $100 an hour, but unless your employer agrees to pay you $100 an hour no union will make a difference. now if you can negotiate that and management agrees to it, more power to you.

the biggest advantage unions provide is someone to push back against management when management tries to screw you. Ie, you have a 10 mile response for a call, and your supervisor is writing you up for not getting there in the "under 11 minute" standard.

Or if you are supposed to get a uniform allowance, and suddenly management makes the decision that you are to pay for all uniforms out of your own pocket.

or if your ambulance is unsafe to drive, and your boss says if you don't accept the truck you are terminated for refusing the job.

Plus, too many ambulance companies are looking to cut corners at the expense of the employees. Having a union can be beneficial, but if you are going to be fired for breaking a rule, the only thing a union will do is ensure that you are being fired according to the rulebook.

Agreed. I'm a teamster and sadly with my company it's necessary or I'd be riding a bicycle to calls. Remember the union is another bureaucratic entity that's adding more red tape and more politically minded individuals into your company. Everyone has an angle.

Like others have been saying, if you like the way things are being run, don't go union.
 

socalmedic

Mediocre at best
789
8
18
I am IAEP and love it. as stated a union wont keep you from getting fired, they will only make sure the company is following the rules. I make $5 more an hour than the other ambulance company in my area which is not union, I also have a much nicer 401k and medical benefits. I think it is all worth is for the $40/month that i pay in union dues.
 

bigdogems

Forum Lieutenant
103
0
0
I previously worked for a company and was one of the people responsible for bringing in IAEP. Was even VP of the local..... I quickly discovered that they were completely useless. The national would constantly file charges that would never be upheld. Our work conditions didn't improve and as was said above, if the employer refuses to give raises your not going to get them. Now this wasn't entirely the nationals fault. One thing that you have to remember is that a union is only as strong as its members. Unless you can get everyone on board to attend meetings and show up to vote your not going to get anywhere. If most of the people are happy and management treats you well they should have no problem keeping them out. Many times the talk of a union coming in will prompt a raise
 

systemet

Forum Asst. Chief
882
12
18
I am IAEP and love it. as stated a union wont keep you from getting fired, they will only make sure the company is following the rules. I make $5 more an hour than the other ambulance company in my area which is not union, I also have a much nicer 401k and medical benefits. I think it is all worth is for the $40/month that i pay in union dues.

Sure, but what if I want to work less than 8 hours a month ? :)
 

ah2388

Forum Lieutenant
235
0
16
The reality of the situation is that a union is only as good as those who run it. There are a lot of people who will say that the unionization of fire and ems has allowed ems as a profession to take several steps backwards. To the contrary, our shop recently unionized (IAFF) and we have received a tremendous amount of support statewide during issues with hostile management during the days leading up to the vote. Anyway, its really neither here nor there. As stated above, if you are unhappy with management and believe yourself to be treated unfairly, it is certainly a viable option to look into. I would suggest looking into an established organization, which for most would be IAFF or teamsters.
 

bigbaldguy

Former medic seven years 911 service in houston
4,043
41
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I have no experience with EMS unions but I know a bit about unions in general. A bad union can be worse than no union but a good union is priceless. Any union is only as good as the people who belong to it. They work a bit like a democracy, if rank and file members don't vote, don't stay informed, and don't hold their union leaders accountable then it doesn't work.
 

pamedic

Forum Ride Along
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0
0
unions do have their place

I have always been on the fence about unions because I have seen the good and the bad. The most shining example of the positive things a union can do is the United Farm Workers. The bad side? Unfortunately there are far too many examples of theft of members' funds, connections with organized crime, pay-offs, and failure to represent the members. Generally I think EMS is an area that needs unions. We have all heard the horror stories of low wages, absurd working hours and conditions, and job security that hangs by the thread of management's whim.

That being said, if anyone is looking into either organizing a union or switching to a new one, stay away from NEMSA. A little more than a year ago the employees of my company voted NEMSA in with all kinds of promises being made including training for shop stewards, monthly meetings with corporate members, a whole slew of electronic communication devices - and not to mention a contract that we would find acceptable. It is now a year later and none of those promises were kept. The most disheartening thing about this is that the terms of a contract had been reached but NEMSA never prepared it for presentation to the employees. After 2 months the employer revoked all of the offers. When employees complained to Torren Colcord, the Executive Director, his response was - if you are not happy with us vote us out.
 

dbo789

Forum Asst. Chief
520
3
18
I'm generally a very anti-union person, I've seen more often than not how they're just used as tools for greed and abuse. That said if you want to run 911 calls in Alberta (or pretty much anywhere in Canada for that matter), you have to be a member of a union.

The one upside is that the EMS workers in Alberta are considered an "essential service" and are not allowed to strike. This means that there tends to be a bit better working relationship between the union and the government, and a bit more give and take. EMS workers as a result also tend to get much better pay and benefits than what the average is south of the border, and I'll admit there ARE situations where the union can prevent abuse of the system against employees.

Thankfully EMS also requires a certain level of dedication and responsibility to maintain a career, which means you tend to get less of the system abusers as you would see in, say, a blue collar union job.
 
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JPINFV

Gadfly
12,681
196
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Our FT employees are IAFF members...works out well.


Are you a part of a fire department? If not, isn't that like having the fox guarding the hen house? After all, look at how IAFF back stabbed their "members" in the Kansas City MAST handover.
 

truetiger

Forum Asst. Chief
520
14
18
No we are a third service. I am not familiar with the Kansas City MAST handover. Unions may not work for everybody but it works for us.
 

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