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Jun 08, 2020

Tone-Deaf Falck Contract Proposal in NorCal Sparks Outrage

NorCal EMS Employer Proposes Cuts Amid Protests/Pandemic
Multinational Corporate EMS Giant Falck Resorts to Slashing Benefits in New Contract Bid
 
(ALAMEDA COUNTY, CA) During recent negotiations with Falck USA, National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) EMS members were shocked by management’s deep proposed cuts to Alameda County EMS employee benefits. According to Falck’s own public financial data the corporation profited over $2 billion globally last fiscal year and over $500 million in the first quarter of 2020. While Falck’s profits have remained steady during widespread financial fallout caused by COVID-19, they now pursue major cuts to critical benefits of the front-line EMTs and paramedics in Alameda. Having worked tirelessly to fight the ongoing pandemic, in addition to recent protests throughout the county, the more than 450 heroes of Northern California are left scratching their heads and fighting to keep their benefits.
 
Though EMS professionals were appalled over the tone-deaf proposal from Falck it is not a far cry from ongoing problems that can be seen throughout the national emergency medical system. Disregarding the ongoing global pandemic which puts their entire workforce at a severely heightened risk, private EMS corporations like Falck still elect to maximize profits at the expense of their frontline employees. NAGE EMS National Director Philip Petit commented on the proposed cuts “After months of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, these first responders have risen to the challenge yet again responding to the recent mass protests.” Petit continued “Instead of treating these heroes properly, management responded by proposing cuts to basic benefits and taking a swipe at their financial stability.”
 
When Falck took over EMS operations in the county last year, there was hope for a positive changing of the guard. However, frustrations quickly mounted due to near constant issues concerning payroll and health benefits which devolved into friction over management’s treatment of employees covering special pandemic assignments.
 
“Management’s proposed cuts are just a slap in the face to the dedication and commitment of the EMS professionals serving Alameda County. Falck needs to do better,” said NAGE National Executive Vice President James Farley. “They need to wake up and treat these true heroes with some respect. All they see is dollar signs and opportunities to profit - it’s shameful.”
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