FDNY EMS demands equal pay
FDNY EMS personnel crowded City Hall demanding equal pay to other uniformed public safety services
By EMS1 Staff
NEW YORK — New York EMS personnel and their supporters descended on City Hall this week, demanding equal pay.
According to the New York Daily News, dozens of people are calling on New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio to close the pay gap between EMS and other first responders.
FDNY EMS Local 2507 Union President Oren Barzilay and Vinny Variale, head of the EMS officers’ union, were at the protest as well, chanting, "Equal pay for EMS," with supporters.
EMS professionals allege their base salaries are far below those of firefighters and police officers, despite the fact that EMS providers respond to approximately 1.5 million out of the 1.8 million calls the department receives each year.
City records indicate that the starting annual salary for an FDNY EMT is approximately $35,000 and $48,000 for paramedics, while firefighters start at $45,000 and police officers at $42,000.
"This work is just as dangerous," Christell Cadet, a Queens EMT, said. "I've been spit on, attacked by patients and come in contact with deadly pathogens in some of the worst neighborhoods. And yes, I go into fires, I went into a fire to save an injured firefighter who needed assistance and yet we are not treated equal."
While several City Council officials agreed with protestors that a change to EMS base salaries is warranted, they warned that any increase would need to be approved and coordinated with the de Blasio administration. So far, the mayor has not agreed to begin any kind of bargaining with EMS officials.