NY mayor: COVID-19 crisis 'not the time' for FDNY pay raises
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a radio interview that the issue should be addressed after the crisis has passed
By Laura French
NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a radio interview Friday that the COVID-19 pandemic is "not the time" to consider a pay increase for FDNY EMS providers.
De Blasio said on "The Brian Lehrer Show" on WNYC that the city shouldn't "make something up on the fly in the middle of a crisis," according to the New York Daily News.
“We want to take care of these workers and support them, of course, have their backs, but this is a bigger issue in the labor dynamics of this city,” the mayor said in response to a caller who asked if the crisis had changed his view on the pay disparity between FDNY firefighters and EMS providers.
De Blasio said in January of last year that members should be "treated fairly and paid fairly," but that the work done by EMS providers "is different" than that done by firefighters.
The starting pay for an EMT in the city is about $35,000, which increases to $50,000 over five years, according to city records. For paramedics, pay starts at around $48,000 and goes up to $65,000 in five years. For firefighters, starting pay is about $45,000, which rises to $110,000 in the five-year period.
FDNY EMS is currently handling its highest call volume in department history, EMS Chief Lillian Bonsignore told EMS1 earlier this week. More than 200 members of the department have tested positive for COVID-19, although it is not clear how many are firefighters, EMS providers or civilian staffers.