Cleveland EMS workers demonstrate at city council meeting

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CLEVELAND (WJW)-- Cleveland's first responders and EMS personnel held a sit-in Monday night during the city council meeting.

The group is protesting the latest contract battle with the city of Cleveland.

Cleveland Association of Rescue Employees, or CARE Local 1975, said a recent court decision in support of their contract is still not being implemented by the city. According to first responders, Cleveland leaders are fighting against mental health support for the union.

Close to 300 EMS workers and dispatchers have been working without a contract now for three years and nine months. CARE members are still being compensated at 2015 wages and retro pay owed is more than $3 million.

"The city is trying to vacate the entire contract, which means they're trying to take away the money that really isn't in dispute. They're trying to sit there and get rid of the entire contract, instead of sitting down and figuring out what has to be done," said Paul Melhuish, president of CARE.

The city declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

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