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Paramedic union to vote on cost-cutting agreement

December 21, 2012

 

Mono County’s paramedics have probably saved hundreds of lives since the program came into existence—but like all good things, there has been a cost.

“This program is costing the county about $500,000 a year more every year,” said Mono County Supervisor Vikki Bauer earlier this year. “We have to put the brakes on this growth in cost.”

To that end, the county has been working with the paramedic union, trying to find a way to keep the program without the constant growth in costs.

Now, a solution might be at hand—if the union agrees.

On Tuesday, the supervisors voted 5-0 to approve a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the county’s paramedics that would largely stop the growth of the program.

Using four main technique—increasing the paramedics contributions to their health care, cutting overtime bills by creating a non-unionized pool of reserve paramedics, not paying paramedics for their drive to their duty stations (only for the time once they arrive at the duty station) and for reducing the “on call” rate, Arkens said the MOU would “stabilize” the program.

“This is a program that cost $4.2 million, but is only taking in $1.8 million,” Arkens said. “So the taxpayers are paying $3 million a year for it.”

The union is expected to vote on the MOU “by the end of the year,” he said.

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