New York City’s paramedics, EMTs, fire protection inspectors, and EMS staffers will see pay bumps after their unions finalized a long-stalled contract agreement with the city.
The city’s tentative agreement with unions District Council 37, Locals 2507 and 3621 was announced Friday and will raise wages for more than 4,500 FDNY employees in a contract costing more than $289 million over the next five years.
The agreement also stipulates that FDNY will train all EMS staffers to respond to mental health calls as part of a pilot program to remove NYPD from responding to those calls, and staffers who handle such calls will receive extra pay. The pilot program created “Mental Health Teams” comprised of EMS personnel and mental health crisis experts responding to relevant 911 calls in East Harlem and the north Bronx.
“Our emergency service workers are heroes who got New York City through the worst crisis in generations and continue to serve our city every day with honor,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement. “This agreement increases wages and will allow us to expand our incredible mental health pilot, which has already proven to be an effective way to handle non-violent mental health calls.”
“This is an important day for our first responders in Locals 2507 and 3621 who are getting the big raises they deserve,” said Henry Garrido, executive director of District Council 37, AFSCME in a statement. “These members were on the frontlines for COVID-19 helping New Yorkers in need. Our city could not have gotten through without them and we are so grateful for their service.”
“Our men and women have sacrificed so much for our city, they work tirelessly to survive under the current financial climate we live in,” said Oren Barzilay, president of Local 2507, District Council 37, AFSCME. “We thank our men & women in EMS and Fire Inspectors for their dedication and professionalism. Let us never forget those who succumbed to illness and injuries performing their duties while working.”
The new contract is retroactive to June 2018, when the previous contract expired, and runs through July 2022. The raises start at 2% for 2018 and increase up to 4% this year. The bonus pay for responding to mental health calls in the city’s pilot program is 6%. The contract also increases hours worked per year, from 1,957 hours to 2,088 per year.
The terms of the new contract still have to be ratified by the unions.