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    Default FDNY in the New York Times Op-Ed

    For your reading pleasure http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/24/op...4moss.html?8bl

    Finest, Bravest, Greediest?
    By MITCHELL L. MOSS

    Published: August 24, 2004



    With the Republican National Convention about to come to town, leaders of the city's police and firefighter unions are taking advantage of the national attention focused on New York to make their case to the public. In TV ads, on billboards and at sidewalk rallies, the unions' message is the same: because the city does not pay its cops and firefighters an adequate wage, New York cannot attract or retain skilled uniformed workers.

    These claims would be serious - if they were true. New Yorkers understand and appreciate the risks facing our firefighters and police officers, especially in the aftermath of 9/11. But union leaders do the city and their members a disservice when they spread myths about the working conditions of the "bravest" and "finest."

    The fact is, New York City pays its police and firefighters fairly. Including holiday and overtime pay, first-year police officers earn an average of $44,000. Detectives earn an average of $88,000 a year, while sergeants earn an average of $91,000.

    Firefighters do even better. After five years, average total compensation for firefighters is $76,000. Further, more than two-thirds of firefighters fulfill the requirement of working two nine-hour days and two 15-hour nights a week by arranging to work two straight 24-hour shifts.

    Union leaders say that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is treating their members like the "paper pushers" in District Council 37, the city's largest municipal union. But this union's members earn, on average, $30,000. The average uniformed worker earns more than twice that salary, with far more generous pension and benefits.

    Perhaps that's why so many people are eager to join the ranks of the police and firefighters. While firefighters would be on the front lines in any terrorist attack, they also enjoy generous compensation and retirement benefits, flexible hours, and the sense of community that permeates life in the firehouse. More than 7,000 people took the most recent test to qualify as firefighters, although only about 500 can be hired in an average year.

    The Police Department also has an abundance of qualified applicants. More than 12,000 new police officers have been hired in the past five years, and the police academy easily filled its July 2004 class of nearly 1,700 recruits, even though the requirements have become more stringent. The new recruits are better educated than ever before: more than a quarter have bachelor's degrees. The current class of recruits is more diverse and has a larger percentage of city residents than does the department as a whole.

    There are also signs that these officers are remaining on the force longer. True, most cops retire after 20 years; a police officer retiring today at age 42 after 20 years of service will collect $1.75 million in pension payments, based on actuarial projections. In 2003, however, only 81 percent of the department's officers retired in their 20th year, fewer than the 93 percent who retired in 1995.

    New York City is safer today than it has been in recent history - both homicides and fire fatalities are at their lowest levels in decades. Three years after 9/11, and despite the threat of terrorism, New York remains a place where most people want to live, work and study; its population is at a historic high.

    New York's uniformed services deserve better pay. No one disputes that. It is also inarguable that police officers in many neighboring communities make more than their counterparts in New York City. But these comparisons don't prove as much as union leaders claim; Nassau County, for example, has a police force about one-tenth the size of the New York's, and its fiscal policies have brought it to the edge of bankruptcy.

    There are limits to what city taxpayers can afford. Increasing the productivity of firefighters and police, as the mayor has proposed, would help to create the savings needed to pay for a modest increase in salaries. And labor harmony, especially on the eve of the convention, would help strengthen the bonds of trust and good will that police and firefighters have built with the public since 9/11.


    Mitchell L. Moss is a professor of urban policy and planning at the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University. He is an informal adviser to the mayor.


  2. #2
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    Mitchell L. [size=large]M[/size]oss is a professor of [size=large]u[/size]rban policy and planning at the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University. He is an informal adviser [size=large]t[/size]o [size=large]t[/size]he mayor.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Default Re: FDNY in the New York Times Op-Ed

    Originally posted by orangehopeful
    Firefighters do even better. After five years, average total compensation for firefighters is $76,000. Further, more than two-thirds of firefighters fulfill the requirement of working two nine-hour days and two 15-hour nights a week by arranging to work two straight 24-hour shifts.
    hmm, i seem to recall that when a proby FDNY firefighter starts, if he's married and/or has a child (don't remember which), he makes so much that he is eligible for food stamps.....
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

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    Default A Question

    Seriously, in an average year, how many people leave FDNY for a better paying job in another city?

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    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Where are our FDNY Brothers? Just out of curiosity....... how far off are his numbers?

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    Default Re: FDNY in the New York Times Op-Ed

    Firefighters do even better. After five years, average total compensation for firefighters is $76,000. Further, more than two-thirds of firefighters fulfill the requirement of working two nine-hour days and two 15-hour nights a week by arranging to work two straight 24-hour shifts.
    Of course no matter how you slice it, its still 42 hours a week on average. Regardless of whether you work 9's and 15's, 10' and 14's or 24's. And what kind of home does $76,000 allow a family to have in the NYC area? Its all about cost of living..... needledicks abound!

    Dave

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    how far off are his numbers?
    Even I could fool you with numbers. So riddle me this Batman:

    Three men go to stay at a motel, and the man at the desk charges them $30.00 for a room. They split the cost ten dollars each. Later the manager tells the desk man that he overcharged the men, that the actual cost should have been $25.00. The manager gives the bellboy $5.00 and tells him to give it to the men.
    The bellboy, however, decides to cheat the men and pockets $2.00, giving each of the men only one dollar.

    Now each man has paid $9.00 to stay in the room and 3 x $9.00 = $27.00. The bellboy has pocketed $2.00. $27.00 + $2.00 = $29.00 - so where is the missing $1.00?


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    I don't see anything in this interview about the 1127 TAX! This is the resident TAX every firefighter and police officer pays to the city even though they live outside the city. Better yet, if I file a joint return with my wife who lives with me, outside the city and works, outside the city, her earnings are also garnished and taken by the city.

    Yeah. His numbers are WAY OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!

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    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    This is the resident TAX every firefighter and police officer pays to the city even though they live outside the city.
    Lt, down here some cities have "occupation taxes" - essentially a city level income tax that is assessed to anyone working in the city regardless of where they actually live. Is that what you're talking about or is this tax only applied to police officers and firefighters?

    I think occupation taxes stink in general but if it targets just you guys, that really, truly bites.

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    I think occupation taxes stink in general but if it targets just you guys, that really, truly bites.
    Yup. And our non resident, non-city working spouses salary!!!

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    Random thoughts:

    1. NOBODY with a brain leaves the job to go somewhere else.

    2. These guys (along with the NYPD) deserve a fair and honest pay raise.

    3. If the City of New York fired all the fire fighters, and ran an ad that offered the FF job at minimum wage, there would be 100,000 vollies lined up to test for the job.

    4. $44,000 in NYC doesn't go very far. You certainly aren't buying a home and you certainly aren't living in the most desirable area.

    5. Do you think that most FDNY FF have a second (or third) job because they have too much free time on their hands?

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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Random thoughts:

    3. If the City of New York fired all the fire fighters, and ran an ad that offered the FF job at minimum wage, there would be 100,000 vollies lined up to test for the job.

    And that is a big part of the problem. I am sure the Mayor's Office knows this. I know this has been brought up in our negotiations in the past. Our Town administrator has said time and time again, " I don't need to pay you guys more, there are 10 or 12 people waiting in line to take your job "

    Dave
    Last edited by hfd66truck; 08-29-2004 at 08:24 AM.

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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Our Town administrator has said time and time again, " I don't need to pay you guys more, there are 10 or 12 people waiting in line to take your job "
    The same can be said when the Town Ad[size=large]mutt[/size]istrator's contract is up! :XD
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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