Asked by Workers Defense Action Fund
Q There is currently no interpretation provided at Austin City Council meeting to allow for non-English speakers to understand people’s testimony or the conversations occurring on the dais. Do you believe that the City should provide interpretation at Austin City Council meetings, so that they are more accessible to non-English speakers?
Q The possibility of an ATCEMS/AFD merger has been an ongoing topic of discussion. Historically mergers involving EMS and Fire departments have been problematic because they take place under duress. With a successful legislative change and municipal voter support ATCEMS medics are now included in civil service 143 for public safety. EMS is becoming more innovative and integrated with healthcare and public health though an ongoing series of open meetings with the stakeholders. Many of these discussions are directed by City Council members or by the various appointed commission’s of council and we encourage open public discussions on the future of Austin’s public health model. However, would you agree the potential of an EMS/AFD merger should be inclusive of both labor organizations and the only place to come to terms in matters regarding the workforce is though contract negotiations?
Asked by Austin Firefighter Association
Q ATCEMS medics are in the City’s retirement system (COAERS) and as of 2012 are two tiered, meaning those employed prior to this change are at 23 years and those hired after are at 30 years. Medics in the second tier must also reach age 64 for eligibility. ATCEMS has one of the highest separation rates of any city department per capita. To date only a small number of medics have succeeded in retiring from working on the frontline of EMS. As a council member would you support adding the retirement issue to the city’s legislative agenda?
Asked by Austin Travis County EMS
Q Would you favor the implementation of a professional Board of Directors to manage Austin Energy operations instead of the Austin City Council, similar to the model used by San Antonio’s publicly owned utility, potentially eliminating undue political influences from the management of the utility?
Asked by Austin Ahead