NEW YORK CITY (PIX11) — City Hall on Wednesday announced a deal to temporarily raise the starting salary for lifeguards and fully staff the 17 mini pools across the five boroughs.
The agreement, which will raise the starting hourly rate for a city lifeguard to $19.46 for this summer, comes just over a week after a staffing shortage forced multiple area pools to remain closed on the first day of the season.
“Today we reached a deal with the lifeguard union to address the immediate needs of our pools,” said Mayor Eric Adams in a Wednesday news release. “We negotiated for [the] creation of a class of lifeguards who are restricted to mini pools and with this influx of mini pool guards we will be able to very quickly open all of our mini pools, an essential cooling center for young New Yorkers.”
As part of the deal, the city will raise the starting hourly rate for lifeguards to $19.46, Adams said. However, the mayor said that that rate was “for this summer alone,” adding that the city’s ability to safely open pools and beaches for swimming remained impacted by a national lifeguard shortage, as well as “inefficient practices that are in dire need of further reform.”
As an additional sweetener, Adams said that lifeguards who work every week of the summer season will be eligible for a retention bonus in September.