Medical workers to resume talks; strike notice rescinded

The union representing most of American Medical Response's emergency medical personnel in Southern Nevada has rescinded its strike notice, saying it wants to resume contract negotiations.

In response, a top AMR official said Friday his company will return to the table.

The Service Employees International Union Local 1107 notified AMR Friday that workers would not strike Nov. 28 if the ambulance service provider provides the union with bargaining dates within the next seven days.

Those meetings must take place before the end of December, SEIU officials said.

"We were hoping they would avoid a strike,'' said city of Las Vegas spokesman David Riggleman. "It looks like a strike has been averted. We welcome that as good news.''

AMR, under contract with the city and Clark County, is responsible for 60 percent of the patient transports in those areas.

AMR paramedics had planned to strike the day after Thanksgiving. They claimed the ambulance provider refused to negotiate a contract with their union.

The two sides have never met to discuss the contract, which ended Oct. 31. The main sticking point for AMR to even get to the table is who represents the workers.

While SEIU Local 1107 is listed as the workers' union, it was the International Association of EMTs and Paramedics that first approached AMR about a new contract. Because AMR doesn't feel that is the union of record for its workers, the company's officials said they could not negotiate with that union.

SEIU claims IAEP is part of the SEIU family and has worked with AMR in other states and for that reason would be better suited to conduct the new contract negotiations.

AMR officials said they've been notified that IAEP has relinquished any and all claims of representation of its emergency medical services personnel.

"It is unfortunate that our employees and the public were subjected to the threat of a strike by SEIU, but we are hopeful that we can now move forward and negotiate a contract that is acceptable for all parties involved,'' John Wilson, AMR Las Vegas general manager, said in a prepared statement Friday afternoon.

Review-Journal reporter Alan Choate contributed to this report. Contact Review-Journal reporter Annette Wells at or 702-383-0283.