EMS has concerns over minimum wage increase

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Fifteen dollars an hour. That's the minimum wage Governor Tom Wolf is proposing for Pennsylvania by 2025.

The move would have an impact that might stretch further than you think.

Ambulance services say they're worried about the proposed minimum wage increase. Why? They're barely making ends meet as it is.

Minimum wage sits at $7.25 an hour.

"Like most EMS agencies, reimbursements are something we can’t necessarily control. Whatever we get paid, we get paid," said Susquehanna Township EMS Chief Matthew Baily.

He says right now they receive little state aid. The last time that was updated was in 1985.

Looking ahead, he's worried.

"Looking at 2025, when Governor Wolf is looking at 15 dollars an hour, that’s more than what our EMTs would start at currently. So yeah, we would expect it to see a negative impact on our agency because of that."

Overall, if approved, Labor Economist Mark Price says about two million PA workers would see a bigger paycheck.

29 other states have already raised the wage.

"They run into exactly these kinds of issues. There are certain types of workers home health aids, EMS workers, that may be affected by those increases and are going to need additional state funds in order to compensate for the increased costs," Price explained.

Businesses outside of EMS, Price says, will see change as well.

"Likelihood is you may raise the price of a bag of French fries by a few cents. You may do things to train your workers to get more out put out of them.You may also benefit because as we are injecting millions into the economy. People make more and will spend more.

Baily says they're not against minimum wage increasing. He just wants to make sure EMS will still be here to do their jobs.

"We're just asking for enough funding to make sure that we’re able to be sustainable as a model in the commonwealth and I think that’s what we’re really pushing for we’re looking for sustainability and improvements."

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