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Talks resume, with mediator

(The two sides are finally talking)….Gold Cross Ambulance employees have been on strike for 10 days.

Negotiations had come to a complete standstill. Management had even stopped talking to the media. Robin Hodgkin, Director of the Public Health Department, told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday the two sides had finally come back to the table. She said they sat down with a mediator to try and work out their differences. The 60 Gold Cross employees want a pay increase, secured benefits, and improved equipment. Hodgkin said the first meeting was not the most cordial, but she said they seldom are. In the meantime, the county contingency plan is in full swing. Ambulance calls are 98% of normal. She said service to residents is not suffering. She said the replacement ambulances are even servicing Calexico after the Fire Department ambulances in that city broke down. Hodgkin said repairs are expected in Calexico by the end of the week.