2008-07-11 / Top Stories

Weiner's Legislation To Reimburse City For Pay Gaps

There are many New York City police officers, firefighters and municipal workers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Typically, when city employees are called up for active duty, they forfeit their regular paychecks, and take their new paychecks from the military. Under most circumstances, this amounts to taking a pay cut. To honor the service of the its employees, the city has set up a program to make up the difference in their salaries - so that the families of men and women deployed overseas are not put under additional financial hardship.

As wonderful as this program sounds, the City has spent $65.6 million since September 11, 2001 to fill the gap between city pay and military pay, with $40.9 million specifically funding first responders. In total, the City has paid $123.3 million to their employees on military leave, including $79.4 million paid to NYPD employees and $13.2 million to FDNY. In fact, the city has spent more than $25.4 million on Queens' first responders alone (a total of 419 workers.)

Representative Anthony Weiner (D- Brooklyn and Queens) responded to this problem by saying, "Dozens of New York families have lost loved ones in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But all New Yorkers have paid an economic price for this foreign policy folly." To solve this problem Weiner has proposed a comprehensive revenue plan that would have the federal government provide cities and states with $40 billion in aid, part of which would reimburse New York City for the $10,000 it spends to fill the gap between salaries for each individual.

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