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2022 News Releases

July 6, 2022

Thea Setterbo
Director of Communications
Tel. (212) 815-1536

DC 37 negotiates wage increase for lifeguards to address City’s shortage

NEW YORK— Today, District Council 37 announced it reached an agreement with the New York City Parks Department that will raise the $16 starting salary for lifeguards to the third-year hiring rate of $19.46 an hour. Additionally, lifeguards who work each week through the end of the summer season will receive a $1,000 retention bonus in September.

“The most important result of this agreement is that visitors to the City’s pools and beaches this summer will be safe and protected by professional lifeguards who are properly trained to handle any water emergency,” said Henry Garrido, Executive Director of District Council 37, the public employee union that represents lifeguards and their supervisors in the Parks Department. “We thank Mayor Adams, Commissioner Campion and Commissioner Donoghue for listening to our concerns about the pressure of the national lifeguard shortage here at home. We will continue to work with the administration to recruit and retain the best candidates while protecting their collective bargaining rights.”

The agreement is in response to the labor shortage facing State- and municipal-run waterways across the United States. Historically meager wages and a limited training season due to COVID-19 resulted in fewer available lifeguards and the closing of several local pools and beaches this year.

Since 2014, no drownings have occurred in New York City while a union lifeguard was on duty.

District Council 37 is New York City's largest public employee union, with 150,000 members and 89,000 retirees.