EMS Professionals at Falck Northern California Join AFSCME
November 16, 2017
More than 400 emergency medical services (EMS) professionals at Falck Northern California have won their election to join United EMS Workers-AFSCME Local 4911, a victory that will strengthen their efforts to improve the services they provide to their communities.
The ballots were counted at the National Labor Relations Board office here Monday, revealing a union victory despite the private company’s attempts to divide and discourage employees. Workers joined AFSCME seeking more accountability and respect and, most importantly, a greater commitment to patient care and safety.“I voted yes because I want a voice to better the company and help out my co-workers,” said Emergency Medical Technician Gian Valinoti. “By organizing a union at Falck, we can fight for accountability and help raise the bar in EMS.”Valinoti spent his career in public service. He worked as a hospital emergency department technician and worked and volunteered as a firefighter before becoming an EMT at Falck. He began talking with his co-workers about organizing a union nearly a year ago. On Monday, he attended the vote count.“Something we would like to see in the future is a fatigue policy that prioritizes crew safety, not just caters to the employer,” he said.The Falck Northern California employees were the first batch of Falck workers in the U.S. to join AFSCME. The EMTs, paramedics, registered nurses and dispatchers who just joined our union provide 9-11 services and handle transportation between many hospitals across Northern California.Valinoti and his co-workers did not have to look far to see the power of AFSCME. EMS professionals at other companies in the region have joined our union and secured better standards at their company.Samantha Moeller, an AFSCME Local 4911 member who works as a paramedic for Rural/Metro and American Medical Response (AMR) in Santa Clara County, spent more than a month helping Valinoti and his co-workers unite for a voice on the job.“It’s about elevating our profession and making EMS more than just a stepping stone,” she said. “That starts with holding private sector EMS companies responsible.”Falck Northern California workers are the third group of EMS professionals to join AFSCME this year. Workers in Arizona and Washington, D.C. won their union elections in January and March, respectively.
– Justin Lee | November 16, 2017
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