Philadelphia paramedics booted from union

    State Labor Relations Board says because the paramedics aren’t cross-trained in all the work of firefighters, they should not be part of their union.

    Philadelphia paramedics have lost their union for now after a state Labor Relations Board panel decided Monday that paramedics aren’t firefighters.

    The five-page opinion, which says paramedics are not cross-trained, finds they are therefore not interchangeable with firefighters because they cannot be assigned to engine or ladder companies. Firefighter Local 22 President William Gault says he’s upset with the decision, but will move to set up a separate union for the paramedics but that could take some time.

    “The problem is now I have to wait for the PLRB to hold an election, they will have to vote to stay in,” says Gault. “They have already signed the cards indicating their intent to stay in the union. They have one more month of our medical benefits and they go into the city’s plan Nov. 1.”

    Gault says he will do what he can to make sure the paramedics remain under his union through the creation of a separate local just for the paramedics.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.