FDNY EMS members ratify agreement with city to boost salaries

The union says the starting salary for an EMT will be $39,385, still far less than their firefighter counterparts

September 12, 2021

By News Staff

NEW YORK — FDNY EMS personnel and fire inspectors have come to an agreement with the city of New York to boost salaries.

FDNY EMS Local 2507 released a statement Friday announcing that its members had voted to ratify a retroactive wage agreement with the City of New York. The agreement, which expires June 2022, covers FDNY EMTs, paramedics and the agency’s fire inspectors.

The statement indicates the move is a first step equalizing pay among the city’s first responders: “While the new contract provides some relief for its members, compensation for EMS First Responders remains significantly lower than that of their counterparts within the FDNY as well as other uniform service such as Police.”

According to FDNY EMS Local 2507, the wage increase, which is determined by years of seniority, will be funded via EMS members working an extra 130 hours annually, going from a scheduled 37.5-hour week to 40-hour week. The starting salary for an EMT will be $39,385, with fringe benefits, and after five years, that worker will earn $68,700, with fringe benefits. The union added that, comparatively, a firefighter’s starting salary is $45,196, and after five years, the firefighter will more than double their salary to earn $110,294.

Oren Barzilay, president of FDNY EMS Local 2507, says this administration has long undervalued and under-compensated the city’s medical first responders: “The ratification of this retroactive wage agreement helps put a little extra on our members’ tables, but it does nothing to resolve the underlying discriminatory practices of pay disparity the City engages in when it comes to valuing and paying the mostly white and male side of the FDNY and the more diverse EMS side of the same Department.

“Despite risking our lives day after day throughout the pandemic, responding to hundreds of thousands of medical distress calls to 911, which were all handled by FDNY EMS, and saving the lives of countless New Yorkers, this Administration continues to treat us as less important and less valuable. How quickly they forget!”

The union adds that FDNY EMS is facing a significant employee retention crisis, with 50% of EMTs quitting after just three years on the job and 70% leaving for other jobs and careers by the fifth year.