NYC ambulance workers, decrying low wages, seek new contract


By Matt Katz | Published Jul 2, 2024

New York City ambulance workers have started negotiating their long-expired contract, arguing that their pay is so low they’re struggling to pay for food, transportation and housing.

Negotiations began last month for a new contract for the city’s Emergency Medical Technicians and paramedics. Union leaders say low pay – which starts at around $39,000 a year – has led to high turnover and low staffing levels. They say those, in turn, have contributed to the longest response times to emergencies since the height of Covid, as Gothamist previously reported. The contract for EMS workers expired two years ago.

The unions primarily want to close the pay gap with firefighters and other uniformed first-responders. When he was running for mayor in 2021, Eric Adams pledged to provide “pay parity” for EMS workers, but so far that hasn’t happened.

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