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Community, Labor Organizations Rally for Buffalo EMTs, Paramedics
Date:11/18/2008

Rural/Metro Employees Working Without a Contract

BUFFALO, N.Y., Nov. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Representatives from the Buffalo community and labor organizations joined Teamsters Local 375 today to show support for emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics employed by Rural/Metro.

The community and labor leaders called on Rural/Metro to offer higher wages that are commensurate with the life-saving work emergency responders perform year-round. The company and the Teamsters are returning to the bargaining table on Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Attending the news conference were: Joseph Foley, President of Buffalo Professional Firefighters Local 282; Michael Hoffert, President of the Buffalo Central Labor Council; Angelo Vellake, President of the Western New York Area Labor Federation; Allison Duwe, Executive Director of the Coalition for Economic Justice; and other members of the western New York labor community.

The city of Buffalo and 20 surrounding communities contract with Rural/Metro for ambulance service. There are 400 Rural/Metro employees who have been working without a contract since June and are paid less on average than emergency medical personnel in cities like Albany, Rochester and Syracuse.

After the news conference, Rural/Metro employees delivered over 2,000 signed petitions and letters of support to Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. Mayor Brown then met with several EMTs and their Teamster representatives to discuss their concerns.

"We call on Mayor Brown to tell Rural/Metro of the importance of reaching an agreement with the Teamsters that includes salaries that are consistent with the existing labor market in western New York," Hoffert said. "As an All-American City, Buffalo should not be left with a second-class wage scale for its emergency responders."

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SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters
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