Group fights outsourcing of ambulance billing in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The City Council's decision to outsource local jobs could be overturned.

Dozens of people who want ambulance billing to stay in Kansas City went door to door collecting signatures on Saturday.

Outsourcing opponents have until July 29 to collect more than 7,000 signatures to stop the city from transferring jobs.

“Tax dollars need to be invested in our community and not driven outside by a private corporation,” Jonathan Walker with Local 1287 said.

Back in June, City Council members voted 7- 4 to privatize Kansas City's ambulance billing. The council authorized the fire chief to enter into a five-year contract with advanced data processing. 

Supporters say the outsourcing will save the city $800,000 in taxpayer dollars and affected employees would be offered other positions.

Opponents question the quality of service offered by Advanced Data Processing.

They're also concerned about job stability when it comes to building a career with the city of Kansas City.

“Public entities usually have what they call career jobs. Career jobs, they have livable wage, they have pensions, they have healthcare.  Without those three components usually is just something where they can barely survive,” Walker said.

“It's our livelihood. A lot of single parents that have come to the city, live here in the city, lived in the communities.  We believe in keeping the work in our communities, building our city,” Robert Patrick with Local 500 said.

If petitioners collect 7,144 verified signatures, the council will have to repeal the ordinance or let the voters decide.

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