Sign up For DC 37 News


2024 News Releases

February 1, 2024

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

NYC Parks and DC 37 announce deal to increase wages for Lifeguards

Qualifying exams to become a lifeguard will be held through the end of February

NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue and DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido announced today that the City has reached an agreement with the lifeguard union represented by DC 37 to raise hourly wages to $22.00 per hour for seasonal lifeguards.

In addition, beginning summer 2024, returning seasonal lifeguards and chief lifeguards will receive a $1,000 bonus if they work through peak season.
Based on the agreement, the new hourly salary has been made permanent.

“Every New Yorker deserves to safely enjoy our city’s pools and beaches this summer, and that starts with ensuring we have the lifeguard ranks that we need. I’m proud of the critical deal we’ve reached with DC 37 to give lifeguards the raises they deserve, which will undoubtedly encourage more people to become lifeguards, help address staffing shortages, and prioritize the safety of New Yorkers,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “This administration has made strides in improving the way we hire, recruit, and retain lifeguards — and we’re hopeful that these wage increases and bonuses will allow as many New Yorkers as possible to take advantage of our pools and beaches in the coming years.”

“Parks and DC 37 recognize the essential role lifeguards play in safeguarding New Yorkers at our beaches and outdoor pools. As we remain laser focused on rebuilding our seasonal lifeguard ranks, this salary agreement will aid retention by rewarding returning lifeguards, while making lifeguarding a more viable and attractive career for new recruits,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “Being a seasonal lifeguard is more than just a job — it’s an opportunity to be a part of a brave team dedicated to public service. With the U.S. currently facing a nationwide shortage of lifeguards, it’s never been more important for courageous New Yorkers to step up and answer the call. We encourage all qualified individuals to register for a qualifying test today, and for past lifeguards to get recertified to serve their City again in 2024.”

“We are proud to have negotiated a $22 per hour wage and $1,000 retention bonus for our lifeguards. While we battle the same shortages facing the rest of the country, this new agreement gives New York City a competitive edge while preparing for the summer and continuing our members’ legacy of keeping area pools and beaches safe,” said Henry Garrido, Executive Director of District Council 37. “We thank Commissioner Donoghue and Commissioner Campion for their collaboration and commitment in tackling the issues of lifeguard recruitment and retention.”

Qualifying exams for new seasonal lifeguards began in December 2023 and are now ongoing at more than 15 pools around the city, including recreation centers and local schools. Register for a qualifying exam here.

Becoming a seasonal lifeguard is a rewarding experience that allows you to learn CPR, first aid, and rescue techniques while working alongside others who are committed to public safety by protecting New Yorkers at the City’s eight public beaches and 53 outdoor pools.

New Yorkers who worked as lifeguards in Summer 2023 are urged to get their recertification with the NYC Parks Lifeguard School to serve again this summer.

For more information, visit the Become an NYC Parks Lifeguard page.

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