Grady EMS employees in the early stages of trying to unionize
The push to unionize comes after a CBS46 investigation exposed dangerously slow ambulance response times earlier this month.
ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Critical workers who respond to your medical emergencies are pushing for change.
Some Grady EMS employees are in the early stages of trying to unionize. Grady EMS provides 911 services to the city of Atlanta and 16 other counties across Georgia.
This comes after a CBS46 investigation exposed dangerously slow response times earlier this month. Grady’s average monthly response time for critical and emergent calls, according to state records, was between 22 and 29 minutes for the first five months of 2022. For less urgent calls, the average monthly response time was between 46 and 89 minutes.
An Atlanta paramedic shared the above flyer with CBS46 investigative reporter Rachel Polansky. He said these flyers are now popping up at hospitals around the area.
When you scan the QR code, you’re directed to the International Association of EMTs and Paramedics, or IAEP, a union made up of 10,000 EMS workers.
In an interview with CBS46 Investigates earlier this month, Grady EMS blamed short staffing for longer response times.
“We’ll take the criticisms and the challenges but we’re going to work through them and fix things,” John Hanson, senior vice president of Grady EMS, told Polansky.
Hanson went on to say that Grady EMS implemented a new operations plan in May that included a complete restructuring of Grady’s dispatch protocols. Medic trucks are now only responding to life-threatening calls, while basic trucks, or single-driver cars, are responding to lower-level calls. Hanson also said that Grady had increased pay for paramedics and EMTs while implementing both sign-on and retention bonuses.
A spokesperson for IAEP shared the following statement with CBS46 Investigates.
A ‘Grady EMS Union’ Facebook page was also recently created.
CBS46 Investigates asked Grady EMS for their thoughts on the push to unionize. Grady did not answer the question directly but shared the following statement.
Union pushes have been on the rise in recent months around the country, with Verizon workers in Washington, Apple Store workers in Maryland, and Starbucks baristas at more than 100 coffee shops, voting to unionize.
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