DC 37 ‘an obstacle’ to negotiations, head of EMS local says

BY DUNCAN FREEMAN

Since last summer, the president of Local 2507 of District Council 37, Oren Barzilay, has been asking his parent union both in public calls in private communications to begin negotiations with the city’s Office of Labor Relations on a new deal for the EMTs, paramedics and fire protection inspectors he represents. 

To Barzilay’s frustration and consternation, a DC 37 official told him as recently as Jan. 3 that the union had yet to reach out to OLR to kick-start contract talks. 

Barzilay, looking to get his more than 3,000 members significant raises and better benefits, is calling out the parent union for the delay. “DC 37 is being an obstacle to our negotiations,” Barzilay said in a phone interview on Friday. “It’s been extremely frustrating dealing with DC 37 over these past months.” 

Barzilay added that he has many members who are “struggling and living paycheck to paycheck” and that without a new deal members will continue to leave the service in droves. “No matter how much we speak about it there’s no help for FDNY EMS,” he said.  

One significant reason for the delay is that the head of the EMS officers’ union, Vincent Variale, has been adamant about not bargaining on a new deal until outstanding issues with the previous contract are resolved. 

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