9/11 first responders

© Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News

NYC Officials To Mayor: Expand 9/11 Benefits To All Civilian Workers

October 22, 2018 - 3:16 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- While members of the NYPD and FDNY suffering from 9/11-related illnesses can take advantage of unlimited paid sick time, other civilian workers like EMTs and traffic agents don’t have that benefit. Now city officials are urging Mayor Bill de Blasio to change that.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer added her name to a list of city politicians who are pressuring de Blasio to get something done.

“They went to the pile, they went to volunteer. They deserve to have the kind of health care that their brothers and sisters in the uniformed services have,” she told WCBS 880’s Steve Burns.

Brewer didn’t mince words in a letter to the mayor: “When the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center happened, our city employees did not review their contracts to determine if they should respond; the city shouldn't be heartlessly hiding behind contract legalese 17 years later.”

A spokesman for the mayor said City Hall is working with unions to find a solution. City Hall has said it wants to wait for collective bargaining with each respective union before offering any extended benefits for civilian employees with an illness, like the unlimited paid sick time that members of the NYPD and FDNY receive.

Brewer says the mayor’s approach doesn’t make sense.

“This is the time when people start to get sick. That’s why this is the time to give them the kind of 9/11 healthcare they need,” Brewer said. “There is always a cost, but the costs could be worse if we don’t take care of these people. So this is the kind of costs we need to absorb as a caring city.”