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EMS locals fight for pay parity


The fight for pay parity for members of EMS Officers Local 3621 and EMTs and Paramedics Local 2507 with their colleagues in the Fire Dept. took another big step.

The two DC 37 locals filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court recently that accuses the city and the Fire Dept. of failing to provide information they requested under the Freedom of Information Law.

The DC 37 locals want information on pay, rank, gender and race, as well as records of disciplinary actions of employees of other uniformed agencies.

The locals want the information to prove their members are underpaid in comparison to uniformed employees and other first responders.

“Why is it our members are being paid less?” asked Vincent Variale, president of EMS Officers Local 3621. “This is what we’re trying to find out.”

Both locals have more woman and persons of color than other first responders and they’re paid less, have less benefits and are subjected to more disciplinary actions.

Members of the DC 37 locals get 12 sick days annually, but other uniformed workers get unlimited sick leave, Variale said.

Variale and Local 2507 President Oren Barzilay argue that their members should be viewed as part of the uniformed services workforce and receive the same pay and benefits as police officers and firefighters.

The city Emergency Medical Service merged with the FDNY in 1996, but members of Local 3621 and Local 2507 have continued to be treated as civilian employees.