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North ambulances vote to join union

Ambulance shops in Park Rapids and Walker voted overwhelmingly last week to unionize.

They are part of the North Memorial Health Care System, based in Robbinsdale.

Ambulance personnel claimed they receive the lowest pay in the region, so it’s hard to recruit new help. They also complained of driving 20-hour shifts and having to cede lucrative medical transfers to rival companies because they were so short-staffed.

The company has declined to comment and said the concerns are those of disgruntled workers.

Seventy-five percent of the eligible workers voted to unionize. The two shops are under the same managership.

The union and company will begin negotiating a new contract in the coming months.

Sarah Smith, Park Rapids Enterprise

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