OREGON CITY — American Medical Response employees held a rally on Tuesday this morning on the Sunnyside overpass at I-205. About 40 workers made signs and waved at commuters in hope of getting them to support their need for a new contract with Clackamas County. It’s taken to years to reach this point in negotiations. The EMT’s and Paramedics say they have the best interest of patients at heart. The workers are members of the Teamsters Union. They have agreed to accept a cut in pay to continue to meet the needs of patients in the county. They are having a hard time understanding why the county has been foot-dragging especially since AMR was the only company who presented a timely bid.
The Clackamas County Commission held a work session following the rally. The county is being sued over the failed contract settlement. Commissioners were reluctant to say much to reporters because of the suit. In general their comments were guarded. During that time three commissioners maintained that AMR should continue working through the one year extension it’s operating off of now and come to terms on a 1 year extension by March 1st. Three commissioners supported that Smith, Ludlow, and Bernards. Two others opposed it. Schrader and Savas saying it made more sense to opt for a two or four year contract. Bernards and Smith want to explore options further and not go with the status quo just because it’s been done for years.