Gold Cross and union making progress in negotiations

Imperial Valley

Gold Cross and union making progress in negotiations

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EL CENTRO, CA (13 On Your Side) - Gold Cross and the union representing it's paramedic's, that serve Imperial County, are making progress in trying to reach a new labor deal.

The union tells 13 On Your Side: Both sides continue to meet to discuss improving the working conditions for paramedics.

Paramedic's union representative, Phil Farias, could not give us specific details - but he did confirm: Gold Cross did discuss concerns with the union over paramedics being overworked.

Farias tells us: both sides are discussing classifying the number of hours a part-timer can work.

Right now, part-time paramedics - scheduled to work 32 hours a week, as stated in their contracts - are working full-time at 40 plus hours per week.  

Right now, paramedics also want a $1 pay raise from $9 to $10, better health care benefits and upgraded vehicles.

Farias says the paramedics are relieved the company is at least talking about a new labor agreement that could possibly avoid a strike.

"Any employer is going to say, 'Alright, we're going to have to bend somewhere,'" say Farias, "so like I said, it was a bit progressive meeting and we accomplished enough so that we can continue meeting."

Now, the paramedic's union tells me it plans to meet with Gold Cross on Thursday to further discuss pay raises and improved health benefits.

We'll continue to follow the labor negotiations and will bring you the latest information as it becomes available.