Honolulu Emergency Medical Services Division signs new work schedule
Pilot program allows for 12 hour shifts
State Director of United Public Workers (UPW) Dayton M. Nakanelua (far left) joined Mayor Caldwell and top officials from Honolulu Emergency Medical Services Division and the Department of Human Resources to announce the new agreement
News Release from City and County of Honolulu, August 13, 2014
Honolulu — Mayor Kirk Caldwell, the Department of Human Resources, the Honolulu Emergency Medical Services Division and its employees’ union, the United Public Workers, have signed a new work agreement allowing for a 12 hour per day schedule. The new schedule is part of a pilot program that allows for more days off and additional benefits for the city’s paramedics and emergency medical technicians.
“Our paramedics and EMTs are out there every day rushing to emergencies and saving the lives of our loved ones,” said Mayor Caldwell. “Under the old schedule, they were kept on mandatory overtime too often, keeping them from their families and causing burnout in addition to increasing costs. This new schedule should give our dedicated paramedics and EMTs the work-life balance they deserve as they continue saving lives across O‘ahu.”
“The men and women of EMS deserve this new schedule and the benefits included,” said Mark Rigg, Director of the Honolulu Emergency Services Department. “It is the respect that they have earned. The EMS team will have more time to spend with their families and still be compensated for their commitment to serving our islands sick and injured,”
The pilot program will start on August 31, after the employees bid into their new stations. Under the new 12 hour schedule personnel would alternate between three and four day work weeks. Currently the field personnel work a five day a week, 40 hour schedule but staffing shortages have forced repeated mandatory overtime.
The new schedule should result in significant savings on overtime within the EMS division. The new schedule will require fewer people daily to operate.
Benefits of the 12-hour work schedule for paramedics and EMTs include a night differential at $1/hour and meal reimbursement.
Comparison of estimated salaries (including benefits such as night differential, routine overtime, etc.):
Field Operation Supervisors
- Current: $70,692-$80,388
- New: $89,860-$102,185
Mobile Emergency Care Specialist III (Supervisors)
- Current: $64,872-$73,680
- New: $82,462-$93,658
Mobile Emergency Care Specialist I
- Current: $57,264-$64,872
- New: $72,791-$82,462
Emergency Medical Technician III
- Current: $48,576-$52,692
- New: approximately $61,747
Emergency Medical Technician II
- Current: $44,928 – 57,110
- New: approximately $57,110
Disclaimer: The preceding information is only applicable to employees participating in the 12-Hour Alternate Work Week Pilot Project effective August 31, 2014 with a duration of one year. The figures are “ESTIMATES” and there are no guarantees, promises, or assurances that employees will receive these specific amounts. Amounts received by an individual will depend on the employee’s participation in the pilot project and whether the employee physically reports to work and works for all scheduled shifts. The salaries provided are “unofficial estimates,” it is not be construed in any way as a promise or contract with the employer to pay these amounts.
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SA: Honolulu paramedics will get pay raises, and the city will save more than $1 million in overtime, according to a tentative agreement that better controls schedules for the city's more than 200 paramedics.
Last weekend the Department of Emergency Services could not staff five of its eight-hour paramedic shifts. And the paramedics who were on duty already had worked back-to-back shifts, department spokeswoman Shayne Enright said.
But a tentative agreement reached between the city and United Public Workers union would change 90 percent of paramedics' shifts to 12 hours from eight hours and dramatically cut down on overtime, department director Mark Rigg said Tuesday.
Last year the Department of Emergency Services spent $5.6 million in overtime for paramedics — or more than one-fifth of the department's entire $25.2 million budget.
Under the tentative agreement, the department expects to save $1 million to $1.5 million in overtime this year, Rigg said.
At the same time, the average paramedic will see pay raises of 10 to 12 percent.
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EMS workers unhappy with UPW's proposed 12-to-12 shift change
KHON: EMS workers KHON2 spoke with say they would love to switch to 12-hour shifts, because it would cut down on having to work back-to-back eight-hour shifts. They say it happens three to four times a week because EMS is so understaffed.
But many have families or are single parents, so they say working 12-to-12 would be extremely difficult.
“With those shifts, you’re either starting at midnight or getting off at midnight, which means you’re dropping your children off to someone at midnight or picking them up at midnight, so it’s very difficult for families,” said the worker.
The proposal also includes taking away seniority when it comes to picking your ambulance unit and letting supervisors pick first, “so someone with 20-year seniority is going to let a supervisor with eight-year seniority have the first choice over him,” the worker said.
The proposals were put together by a committee and KHON2 was told a majority of them are supervisors.
Workers have gone to their union, United Public Workers, to complain but say they’ve been ignored.
KHON2 has been trying to get a hold of UPW state director Dayton Nakanelua all week.
read ... EMS workers unhappy with proposed 12-to-12 shift change