Apr 20, 2018

First Responders Work Without Contract as Bristol Hospital Negotiations Stall

(Bristol, CT) -  EMS professionals working at Bristol Hospital in Bristol, Connecticut, remain concerned over ongoing workplace issues that could potentially impact patient care.  These first responders continue to work without a contract as the hospital’s management team refuses to work with them to resolve negotiations over a new agreement.

These first responders, members of International Association of EMTs and Paramedics (IAEP) Local R1-701, recently unanimously voted against hospital management’s proposed contract settlement, citing that the agreement didn’t address an ongoing issue with shift differentials that has caused night and weekend staffing issues, among other concerns.

“Our members don’t receive the same shift differential benefit that the rest of hospital employees have received and that has created a large number of open shifts,” said IAEP National Director Phil Petit. “Management has recently attempted mandating Local 701 members to work extra hours with no extra pay to solve this problem.  These men and women aren’t being treated fairly by management and it’s a huge concern that shifts are going unfilled.”

The IAEP has filed an unfair labor practice charge with National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) citing management’s refusal to continue negotiations, but have seen no advancement since.

“We’ve never had these issues before,” said Advanced EMT, and Local 701 President, Ryan Stanford. “They’re refusing to work with us. We just want to reach an agreement and move forward.”

All of the EMS staff with Bristol Hospital are being affected by the breakdown in negotiations.

“It’s affecting everyone from senior staff to new employees. It’s really bringing down workplace morale,” said Stanford.  “We are all focused on treating our patients and providing the best care possible, this takes focus away from our job and what we love to do.”

Local 701 and the IAEP hope management will get back to the table to resolve these outstanding issues and reach a deal that benefits everyone involved: the hospital, first responders, and the community they serve.

[UPDATE: On Sunday, April 22, 2018, a date was confirmed between Bristol Hospital management and the IAEP negotiation team to continue negotiations at the bargaining table for Local 701. IAEP leaders hope to reach a mutually beneficial deal soon.]

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