Press Releases

For Immediate Release: May 10, 2007

New York City Firefighters Approve Contract

Members of the Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) have ratified their labor agreement with the City of New York by a vote of 4,037-3,115, with 56.5% voting in the affirmative. The contract agreement covers a 24 month period from August 1, 2006 to July 31, 2008 providing New York City Firefighters a compound wage increase of 8.16% for all current firefighters, plus additional benefits bringing the value of the total wage and benefits package to 9.75%.

Steve Cassidy, UFA President stated, "With the members ratifying this contract this UFA Executive Board has been successful in negotiating a more than 40% salary increase for New York City Firefighters since taking office in 2002."

As part of the total package, firefighters also gain an increase in their longevity pay, will get a Line of Duty Prescription Drug Card with no out-of-pocket expenses for on-the-job injuries, an increase in chauffer differential, and for the first time, the introduction of specialty pay starting with all rescue, squad and hazmat companies, whose approximate 500 members will each receive an added 12% wage increase.

Firefighters hired after January 2006 will reach the level of 1st Grade Firefighter/top pay six months earlier than in the past. In the second year of the contract Probies will be paid $36,400 and 1st Grade Firefighters will earn $68,475.

The UFA Executive Board also negotiated a re-opener clause covering the period from 2004-2008 in the event that any other uniformed union negotiates or arbitrates any wages which surpass the benefits negotiated for firefighters.

Mr. Cassidy continued, "This is far and away the best contract negotiated by any municipal labor union with the City in this current round of bargaining. The new contract is also groundbreaking because in addition to the other items in this no-concession package, we secured a 12% increase in the base pay for special assignment duty for 17 companies and this increase is at no cost to our members. The UFA has been seeking specialization pay since the 1960's and this will give us the opportunity to expand specialty pay for other UFA members in the future."

The contract agreement was reached the night of Friday, March 12 and then was unanimously approved by the UFA Executive Board (10-0); On March 20th two thirds of UFA Battalion Delegates voted in support of the contract with a vote of 33-17; On April 19 UFA Company Delegates approved the tentative contract with 66% voting in favor (vote tally: 241 yes, 127 no). The contract was mailed on April 30 to individual members homes for a full ratification vote and returned and counted by the American Arbitration Association on May 10th.

It is expected that the Fire Department will announce dates when firefighters will receive retroactive pay and implement increased pay scales the week of May 21.

* * * * * * CONTRACT HIGHLIGHTS * * * * * *

  • Since 2002, the current UFA leadership has negotiated compound raises surpassing 40% for New York City Firefighters;
  • Contract runs through July 31, 2008 - the first time in 25 years that firefighters will work for over a year under an existing agreement;
  • Firefighters have sought specialization pay since the 1960's - this first of its kind agreement gives the opportunity to expand specialty pay for firefighters in the future
  • Probie wage rises from $25,100 to $36,400