A Workplace Divided: Bangs Ambulance Workers United and the Fight for Unionization | #students | #parents

When employees at Ithaca’s only ambulance company officially began the unionization process, they were looking for better shift scheduling, protocols, benefits, pay and a 40-hour work week, among other goals tailored toward improving patient care, employee safety and work-life balance. Now, after narrowly winning the Nov. 9 union vote by 22-20, Bangs Ambulance employees face an uphill battle: they must unify the workforce and attempt to improve their working conditions, while also strengthening the new union.

“We had the goal of making our profession viable in terms of pay and the intensity of the work and the amount of hours we have to work in a week, in order to provide better care to our patients at the end of the day,” said Gus Dunn-Hindle, an emergency medical technician at Bangs Ambulance and member of the Bangs Ambulance Workers United organizing committee. “If we’re better rested, if we’re better paid, better prepared, then we are going to be able to do right by our patients.”

Dunn-Hindle added that among workers’ grievances is the discrepancy between the quality of pay and the magnitude of calls to which Bangs Ambulance responds. 

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