Aug 18, 2020

Grievance Resolution Gives Rural Metro a Break

After a hard fought grievance process, Rural Metro Ambulance Service of Greater Seattle and its employees of IAEP local R12-083 have agreed to terms this week. Battles over mandated rest periods between the parties had raged for months before this landmark decision was finalized. Both pay and frequency of the periods were in hot contention but ultimately local 83's position was upheld in accordance with Washington state labor law. 

IAEP Associate General Counsel Kathleen Sage is credited with the union's persistence in this grievance push, executing precise arguments which secured the victory. This decision marks the most recent in a string of bargaining agreement reassertions in 2020 as many managers continue to act with impunity under cover of pandemic confusion.

Ongoing grievances across the nation affirm this problematic operations trend with cuts in hours and outright brown-outs becoming more common in large service areas. However, strong victories such as Rural Metro's serve as a reminder to all that the union stands tough in times of crisis. With over 1400 new members since February the COVID-19 pandemic has only strengthened IAEP locals and their resolve to fight injustice for the good of the workforce. Backed by strong central leadership, knowledgable representatives and energetic local board members there is no doubt Rural Metro's victory will not be the last for union EMS professionals. 

We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few; but we can't have both. - Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis
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