EL CENTRO, CA (13 On Your Side) - Paramedics with Gold Cross Ambulance in Imperial County are threatening to go on strike if they don't get a pay raise within the next nine days.
Their union claims they are short-staffed, over-worked and have not received a pay raise in six years.
The union representative tells 13 On Your Side: both sides are far apart.
Paramedics want at least a dollar raise but the company is only offering quarterly bonuses.
If a labor deal isn't reached by next Friday - Fernando Villa says he and 77 other paramedics will walk off the job - leaving thousands of residents who live in the county without emergency services.
Gold Cross paramedics claim they get paid - on average - about $9 an hour.
They say the company recently fired seven emergency medical technicians - leaving them short-staffed, over-worked, and under-paid.
Union representative, Phil Farias, tells 13 On Your Side - paramedics also want better health care benefits.
If a labor agreement is not reached - paramedics say they'll be forced to go on strike.
If that happens - Farias claims Imperial County residents who dial 911 could have to wait up to an hour for emergency service to arrive.
"They get paid just a dollar more than the minimum wage. I know if you go apply at Costco – they get paid more than we do," says Fernando Villas, part-time paramedic at Gold Cross, "and they deal with people's lives. They go to school for that, so, I think they should get a raise."
The union says - in a survey - 90% of Gold Cross paramedics claim management mistreats them.
Again, they plan to strike by next Friday if they do not get a pay raise.
Email Alert Sign Up
Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from KSWT.com and morning updates to your email inbox.
Gov. Jerry Brown has agreed to one debate with his Republican rival, Neel Kashkari, in the 2014 governor's race. The one-hour debate - first reported by KQED News on Monday - is scheduled for Sept. 4 in...More >>
Gov. Jerry Brown has agreed to one debate with his Republican rival, Neel Kashkari, in the 2014 governor's race. The one-hour debate - first reported by KQED News on Monday - is scheduled for Sept. 4 in Sacramento....More >>
Tuesday, August 19 2014 8:44 PM EDT2014-08-20 00:44:39 GMT
Flooding from heavy monsoon season rains in the Phoenix area forced authorities on Tuesday to close several major roads, including a portion of Interstate 17, while elsewhere firefighters rescued multiple motorists...More >>
Heavy monsoon season rains that swept across Arizona on Tuesday led to dramatic rescues, road closures and flight delays as a series of fast-moving storms pummeled the state.More >>
Web Producer: Lucy Valencia, Assignment Desk Editor WASHINGTON (AP) -- Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits willMore >>
Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits will be delayed if congressional Republicans fail to increase the government's borrowing authority in a looming showdown over the nation's debt and spending.More >>