What’s the Big Idea?
Should private-sector EMTs and paramedics be allowed to take uninterrupted, off-duty rest and meal periods, or should they remain on call during their breaks?
The Way It Is Now
In 2016, the California Supreme Court decided that private-sector security guards must be given uninterrupted break time. In response, private ambulance companies and the unions representing ambulance employees tried to negotiate new industry standards, but the talks failed. So the private ambulance industry, which responds to 75 percent of the state’s 911 emergency calls, wrote Proposition 11 instead.
What If It Passes?
Ambulance companies would be exempt from current labor laws that require them to provide uninterrupted breaks to EMTs and paramedics. Ambulance staff would keep their radios and pagers turned on during rest and meal breaks so they could respond quickly to 911 calls.
Providing uninterrupted breaks would require ambulance companies to staff up to 25 percent more ambulances. These costs could get passed on to health insurance customers through higher premiums and to taxpayers.
This is a stressful job, and there are other ways to protect EMT and paramedic breaks from unnecessary interruptions so they can eat, rest and be at top of their game for the next big call. The ambulance industry shouldn’t get to write labor law on its own.
YES for Proposition 11