Oakland – Alameda County’s emergency 911 ambulance provider Falck Northern California has offered an improved pay and benefits package to its 450 Alameda County EMT and paramedic employees represented by the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) Local 510.
Falck and union representatives are negotiating a new agreement, currently proposed for three years. The previous contract expired August 31, after an extension from April 30. The parties have been in negotiations since February.
The company offered union employees annual step increases and cost-of-living adjustments that, together, provide employees with wage increases ranging from approximately 2 percent to 6.7 percent per year.
“At a time when the pandemic and recession have challenged the well-being of our county, state and nation, we want to ensure that our first responders are compensated fairly,” said Carolina Snypes, Director and Chief of Falck’s Alameda County operation.
She noted that:
· The average salary and benefits of a Falck first responder in Alameda County is approximately $100,000.
· The top 10 percent of Falck first responders earn an average of $189,000 in pay and benefits annually in Alameda County, more than 3 times what a full-time paramedic starting today would earn.
· Falck has not furloughed or laid off any of its 911 paramedics or EMTs in Alameda County, even as hundreds of thousands of healthcare workers nationwide remain jobless because of COVID-19.
Falck was awarded the Alameda County contract more than a year ago. The company immediately worked closely with County leaders to improve the system to ensure residents could be confident that when they call 911, ambulances arrive quickly, are fully staffed and comply with County requirements for response times. The company provides services to all cities in the County with the exception of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley and Piedmont, where local fire departments provide the service.
Falck has added 40 new paramedics and EMTs in Alameda County since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company and its emergency medical teams have been part of the response to wildfires throughout the state. Falck has also worked closely with Alameda County officials to staff skilled nursing facilities during the pandemic, and has provided emergency medical coverage to police and protestors during the recent protests.
“We are pleased to have helped communities, firefighters, and law enforcement around California,” Snypes said. “We value the first responders who work for us, and we continue to offer competitive wages and benefits to ensure that we take good care of our employees and assist the cities and people we serve.”
“We’re proud of the diversity of our workforce and how closely it mirrors the demographics of the community we serve,” Snypes added.
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