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Civilian 9/11 responders need more sick leave, says Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

The mayor's office said it is currently in talks with unions to "provide these heroes with the paid sick leave they deserve."

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer sent a letter

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer sent a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday, urghing him to set up a citywide sick leave policy for all city employees who worked at Ground Zero on 9/11. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer pushed the mayor to give civilian 9/11 responders more time off to deal with ongoing health issues caused by time spent at Ground Zero.

In a letter sent Friday, Brewer urged Bill de Blasio to set up a citywide sick leave policy for all city employees who worked in the area on 9/11. The letter came after reports that an NYPD traffic officer was forced to work — despite having an inoperable 9/11-related cancer — because she had exhausted her sick days, and an EMT who also had 9/11-related cancer was forced to retire because she had no sick days left.

"You and I both personally know those who have died from their illnesses suffered from the aftermath of the attacks, and every other day, it seems there is another press story of a 9/11 responder, an EMT, or a civilian NYPD employee who have 9/11-certified conditions and who want to keep working despite these illnesses," she wrote in her letter.

The mayor's office has said it would bargain the sick days during contract negotiations, but Brewer contended that the situation needs immediate attention.

Raul Contreras, a spokesman for the mayor's office, said in a statement Sunday afternoon the administration expects to have a solution for those workers soon.

“Everyone who responded to 9/11 and its aftermath is a hero, which is why we’re working with unions to come up with a solution that will provide these heroes with the paid sick leave they deserve," he said.

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