Local 983 Wins Higher Pay and Better Benefits for Urban Park Rangers

Sgt. Sam Hendricks, a Parks Enforcement Patrol Officer, evacuated people from Battery Park City during the World Trade Center attacks and during superstorms Irene and Sandy. (Photo by Clarence Elie-Rivera)

Sgt. Sam Hendricks, a Parks Enforcement Patrol Officer, who evacuated people from Battery Park City during the World Trade Center attacks and during superstorms Irene and Sandy is just one of the many hardworking Urban Park Rangers represented by Local 983. (Photo by Clarence Elie-Rivera)

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS

From March 1 to March 27, New York City will offer an open competitive exam for Urban Park Rangers.

To apply, file an application with the Dept. of Citywide Services (DCAS). Once you apply, you may register for prep classes at www.dc37.net.

“We urge all provisional UPRs to take the exam and the test prep courses offered through the DC 37 Education Fund,” said Local 983 President Joseph Puleo.

DC 37 and Local 983 have made outstanding strides improving salary and benefits for its members. Puleo said, “Newly hired Urban Park Rangers start with a 15 percent salary increase.”

The union negotiated:

  • A $41,200 new annual starting salary for UPRs, up from $32,700. After five years, UPRs get a $1,500 raise to bring them to $42,700, plus future increases negotiated in the citywide agreement.
  • Longevity pay of $800 annually and pensionable Recurring Increment Payments (extra pay added to base salary) at years 5, 10 and 15 for UPRs and Associate Urban Park Rangers.
  • Peace Officer status that frees UPRs and their AUPR supervisors from the complex jurisdiction of the NYPD.

“Employment is no longer subject to the New York Police Department for a certificate of license,” Puleo said. “UPRs need this license as a condition of employment. The advantage now is NYPD no longer monitors Urban Park Rangers and cannot interfere, suspend or revoke their licenses so we can continue to do our jobs keeping our public parks safe.”

“These pay and benefits improvements are tailored to the specific needs of UPRs,” Puleo said. “Now UPRs with more years of service earn more than they would with a simple across the board pay hike.”

Local 983 members enjoy these benefits thanks to the union:

  • Local 983 UPRs and AUPRs can retire after 25 years of service — regardless of age — and receive a pension of half their salary, with full medical coverage to age 65.
  • Local 983 won UPRs and AUPRs a line-of-duty law for a 75 percent disability pension for those with a heart ailment related to on-the-job injuries. This benefit mirrors that of Emergency Medical Service workers.
  • DC 37 members get an $800 tuition reimbursement.

“No other union offers a salary and benefits package as comprehensive as Local 983 and DC 37,” said Puleo. “Invest in your self — and your future through Local 983. Join the city pension. Sign the membership card for DC 37 Local 983.”

Provisional employees registered for the DCAS exam can enroll in Ed Fund test prep at www.dc37.net.

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