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Boston EMS workers OK pay raise

Workers in Boston’s Emergency Medical Services will receive a pay raise of nearly 15 percent over six years under a newly settled contract with Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

The deal will cover roughly 315 paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and their supervisors.

It includes 14 percent in raises spread over six years in addition to a 0.75 percent increase in weekly compensation for hazardous duty pay in July 2016.

The wage increases will cost the city $11.8 million, according to the Walsh administration.

Union members will also receive a lump sum payment for a 2.5 percent pay increase they voluntarily delayed in 2009 to help the city weather the recession.


Under the deal, employees will pay more of the cost of their health insurance, seeing their share increase by 2.5 percent.

The contract was overwhelmingly approved Wednesday night by the union, 198 to 20, according to Jamie Orsino, president of the union, which is a division of Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association.

“Everybody is very happy with the new contract,” Orsino said.

“This is a deal in which both sides are going to ensure the continued legacy of excellence in EMS.”

The deal requires the city and union to establish a joint committee to improve operating efficiency and patient care.

The contract is retroactive to July 1, 2011, and will run through June 30, 2017. Joe Rull, the city’s chief of operations, said in a statement that Walsh instructed him to take an active role in negotiations and break what had become a stalemate.

“We worked together to reach a deal at the table, avoiding potentially costly litigation, and agreeing to terms that are fair and beneficial to the city and to the union,” Rull said.

“I’m proud of the successes we’ve had resolving our labor contracts, and with each one, we have approached the discussions with mutual respect and trust as the highest priority.”


Earlier this year, Rull helped negotiate a deal with firefighters that amounted to nearly a 19 percent pay hike over six years.

Last year, an arbitration panel awarded Boston police patrolmen a six-year deal that former mayor Thomas M. Menino’s administration said amounted to more than a 25 percent raise.

Andrew Ryan can be reached at