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Bad deal


To the editor:

Regarding "DC 37 ‘an obstacle’ to negotiations, head of EMS local says” (The Chief, Jan. 19), Local 2507’s president, Oren Barzilay, answered the question that many members of the public following this story for a long time have been asking, "Why isn't there any progress on contract talks between the FDNY Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Local 2507 of District Council 37 and NYC?"

The last FDNY EMS contract expired in 2022, but City Hall, as the story notes, "confirmed that DC 37 had not yet reached out to begin contract talks.”

Sanitation workers recently concluded a contract. Their base pay will be $99,000 after five years. FDNY emergency medical technicians and paramedics, who last year restarted more than 1,000 hearts, are working under an expired contract, with a base pay of $59,534 after five years.

Despite calls for pay equity by then-mayoral candidate Eric Adams, City Council leaders and many newspapers, FDNY emergency medical service workers are once again facing the specter of working for years under an expired, and less-than-stellar contract.

Is this, once again, going to be such a dragged-out process that workers with dependents to feed,

house and clothe, will once again agree to any contract having any sort of pitiful pay raise?

According to the latest publicly available information, it would appear that DC 37 collected about $46 million in union dues and agency shop fees in 2022, some of which were deducted from each paycheck of 4,000 underpaid FDNY EMS personnel. Thea Setterbo, DC 37's director of communications, was quoted as saying, "we don't negotiate in the press." There was no new contract in 2022, or in 2023. Duncan Freeman's article suggests to me that when it comes to contract talks, at least some union members currently don't see much bang for their bucks.

Helen Northmore


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