Log in Subscribe

A few of our stories and columns are now in front of the paywall. We at The Chief-Leader remain committed to independent reporting on labor and civil service. It's been our mission since 1897. You can have a hand in ensuring that our reporting remains relevant in the decades to come. Consider supporting The Chief, which you can do for as little as $3.20 a month.

Do better for EMS


To the editor:

Regarding “Adams, Kavanagh Express Support for EMS Pay Parity” (The Chief, this issue): Actions speak louder than words. This past summer, the Mayor's Office of Labor Relations showed that it's possible to have fast action on an expired labor contract, resulting in substantial increases in pay to achieve parity for some in civil service when there's the will.

In March 2023, the contract between 8,000 nurses and the NYC Health & Hospitals Corp. expired. Within four months, the OLR had concluded an agreement with the NYS Nurses Association. The new contract included pay parity increases of $16,006 in the first year of the contract, and another $5,551 in the second year.

The 4,000 FDNY EMS, EMT and medics' contract expired almost two years ago. A beginner EMTs starting salary is so low — $39,386 for a 40-hour work week — that it falls into the definition of "very low income," according to the city’s Department of Housing Preservation & Development.  

City Council members have repeatedly called for FDNY EMS pay and benefit parity but without results. Despite a 2001 Council Law mandating that EMS be treated as a "uniformed service" in contract negotiations; despite Council Resolution 1062-2019-A, calling for FDNY EMS pay to be comparable with that of other first responders; and despite their life-preserving and income-generating work, EMTs and medics are paid tens of thousands of dollars less than other first responders, such as firefighters, and up to 40 percent less than other "uniformed services” such as Sanitation.

Council Speaker Adrienne Adams recently reminded members that they are part of a co-equal branch of NYC government. When it comes to pay and benefits parity for FDNY EMS, the 51 elected members ought to be vigilant in their oversight responsibilities of all involved city agencies.

Helen Northmore


1 comment on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • JettyC

    WTF does that mean? Vigilant? Sanitation Workers earn more than Life Savers. Disgusting….

    Wednesday, March 27 Report this