First Responders Gather At Cleveland City Hall For Pay Raise, Mental Health Resources

CLEVELAND — First responders are battling with the city of Cleveland over a longtime contract negotiation.

EMS workers said they are still waiting for the city to honor a contract that would give EMS personnel a pay raise and better access to mental healthcare resources.

It’s been a back and forth battle and a point of contention for more than three years.

In December, a judge ruled in favor of the Cleveland Association of Rescue Employees, better known as CARE Local 1975, on a collective bargaining agreement that would give EMS workers access to more professional mental healthcare.

First responders said the city of Cleveland refuses to keep up its end of the deal, and is instead appealing the court ruling.

Paul Malhuish, President of CARE Local 1975, said with the growing number of first responder suicides and PTSD diagnoses, the implementation of this contract is long overdue.

“It goes to police, fire, us, everyone that’s in the same boat,” Melhuish said. “We see the things we shouldn’t see and we deal with them. That’s how it is. But for the people that can’t deal or have a hard time dealing with it, we need a policy.”

News 5 reached out to the city of Cleveland for comment but has not heard back.

The city of Cleveland has until Jan. 13 to appeal the agreement with CARE Local 1975.

From www.news5cleveland.com