De Blasio Fighting Against Unlimited Sick Leave For EMTs With 9/11-Related Illness

July 07, 2018 - 4:50 pm

ALBANY, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- A bill that would've extended unlimited sick leave to EMTs dealing with 9/11-related illnesses died in Albany this past session, and some first responder advocates are blaming Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“There’s not a lot of them left that are still on the work force, but let’s give them some credit,” said first responder advocate John Feal. “17 years later, we’re debilitating illnesses who are still working.”

The de Blasio administration sent a letter to Albany last month opposing the bill that would have extended the benefits to EMTs and other city workers suffering a World Trade Center health condition.

In the memo, the administration laid out concernes that the bill was too vague and had no way to verify whether the illness was actually a result of 9/11-related work.

“For the mayor's office to say they don't know what the cost to the city would be, that's disingenuous because if you took everybody's notice of participation and saw who was at 9/11, most of them have already retired or died, so the numbers would not be astronomical,” Feal said.

The administration called all employee’s work around 9/11 heroic, but says any labor changes should come at the collective bargaining table, not as an order from Albany.