Today we opened negotiations with a settlement offer that represents a blueprint for reaching a contract, and we stressed the importance of reaching a contract soon. The contract – with its arbitration rights and no-strike/no-lockout clause – has expired.
November 9 is the start of open enrollment. While the Union agrees you should go into the CHOICES health insurance plan, your participation depends on having a signed and ratified contract. Based on the lack of progress today, you may not make it.
A settlement is possible if the Union is willing to agree to terms that are line with other recent contracts. Our settlement offer includes the following:
Comparable to the settlement reached by the other unions at Crozer.
More than 5,000 other Crozer-Keystone employees will begin signing up for the excellent CHOICES Benefit Plan on November 9. If a settlement is not reached in time, the Union has not proposed any form of backup coverage for Paramedics and EMTs and their families.
Defined Benefit Pension
Current EMS employees keep their Defined Benefit Pension and new hires join a Defined Contribution Retirement Plan on the same terms as the other unions.
Severance and Continued Health Insurance
For the first time we have offered a severance package to CCMC Paramedics and EMTs – up to 12 weeks of pay and health insurance coverage if there is a layoff during the proposed 3-year contract.
Health and Safety-Power Stretchers
We will make a significant investment in power stretchers to minimize back injuries.
Improved New Hire Scale
Current employees stay on a higher scale that increases in years 2 and 3. New hires go into a lower scale, but we have increased the new hire rates to match current market conditions.
Hours and Overtime
The Scheduling Committee will continue preparing the schedules, subject to approval by the Chief or his designee.
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We offered to meet with the Union next week if they are prepared to discuss a settlement in line with the other unions. No further meetings have been scheduled.
If you have any questions regarding what is on the table, please do not hesitate to ask the Chief or an Assistant Chief.