On Aug. 19, the city of Austin announced the city and Austin EMS Association representatives reached a tentative one-year agreement.

Discussions around the contract began Nov. 30 and largely focused on cost-of-living wages for medics. Austin EMS Association started labor discussions with a request for a $27 hour starting wage. The city responded in April with a $0.14 hourly increase offer. The Aug. 19 draft includes a $4.2 million wage proposal. It sets a $22 an hour starting pay for EMTs, up 12.5% from the current entry level salary and $30.03 per hour for paramedics. It also raises salaries by 4% to 11.2%, depending on position and length of service.

“I am very pleased that the city and EMS Association have come to a tentative agreement. This agreement will allow us to continue to focus on recruitment and retention of our sworn staff through improvement of their quality of life, while helping us enhance the already exceptional care provided by our Austin-Travis County EMS clinicians to the residents and visitors of Austin and Travis County,” said Robert Luckritz, Emergency Medical Services chief, in a press release.

City Council will vote on the contract Sept. 1. Ahead of the city's vote, Austin EMS Association members will also have an opportunity to vote on the measure. If both votes pass, the contract will be official.