AUSTIN, Texas - The City of Austin has agreed to a new contract with the Austin-Travis County EMS Association.
"We have tried to balance fiscal responsibility with filling our vacancies and retaining current talent," said the City’s lead negotiator, Sarah Griffin. "Both sides saw this as a critical focus during negotiations."
City Council member Alison Alter says it's a four-year contract that will give well deserved raises to medics.
All current employees will see a pay increase of 4% or more based on position and tenure within the department. The entry level medic salary is increased to $24.24 an hour to assist with recruitment.
To help retain the most experienced employees, additional increases were added at year 23 and year 26, providing the most tenured employees with increases of 9% - 14.5% in year one of the contract.
"We have made good progress towards our stated goal of pay parity with our sister public safety agencies and look forward to continuing to improve conditions for our members and the community they serve in the future," said AEMSA President Selena Xie.
Alter believes the contract will also help recruit the best people to serve Austin. The department has faced staffing challenges in recent years.
In addition to the contract, the City's annual budget that starts in the fall adds three new positions to expand the recruiting process.
Additionally, the City will invest in nationally-recognized experts in the field to support training for EMS cadets.