NYC Firefighters Disability Protection Bill Passes

NYC Firefighters Disability Protection Bill Passes Unanimously in the N.Y. State Senate & Assembly

More than 2,000 New York City Firefighters are a step closer to having disability protections granted to them after the New York State Assembly and Senate unanimously approved legislation granting New York City Firefighters, hired since June 2009, similar disability protections to more senior FDNY firefighters. The State Assembly approved the measure 113-0 on Thursday night and the State Senate voted 61-0 on Tuesday. On June 8 the New York City Council also passed a unanimous home rule resolution in support of the state legislation.

The bills, A10567/S08015, by State Assemblyman Peter J. Abbate, Jr. and State Senator Martin Golden would restore disability protections to New York City Firefighters that were lost after former Governor David Paterson vetoed Tier II disability extender legislation for both New York City Firefighters and Police in June 2009. The measure was sponsored in the New York City Council by Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley.

Since the veto and until the legislation is signed into law, New York City Firefighters hired since June 2009 would only be eligible for disability protections as low as $27/day, if they are permanently disabled in the line of duty.

As part of its August 2015 contract agreement with the City of New York, the UFA and Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed on the full restoration of disability protections for all current and future FDNY firefighters.

“This effort marks a very important victory for New York City Firefighters and the citizens we are sworn to protect,” said UFA President Steve Cassidy. “Throughout 2015 the UFA effectuated a major campaign to educate New Yorkers and our elected officials on the dangerous impact this had on public safety and that message resonated statewide. We thank Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Councilmember Crowley, Senator Golden and Assemblyman Abbate for their efforts and we look forward to the legislation moving ahead to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.”