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Lifeguards blindsided by new union contract

City says deal will replenish depleted corps

Posted 6/7/24

A new contract agreement with the two unions representing city lifeguards alters the requirements for New Yorkers seeking to become lifesavers in the city’s pools. The contract, negotiated over a year and a half and ultimately finalized by an arbitrator, also claws some power away from the unions and transfers it to the Parks & Recreation Department, which oversees the city's beaches and pools.

The deal makes vision requirements less stringent and eliminates the 300-yard timed swim test for lifeguards working in shallow pools. 

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