NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Union leaders are calling on the city to increase disability payments for firefighters and police officers.

Steve Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, said because of reductions in New York state pension disability benefits, newly hired firefighters and police officers would receive a pittance if injured or disabled on the job.

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“New York City Firefighters have proven that we will do anything to protect life, but how can we truthfully tell a young firefighter with a family that they will be protected, when we know that is a lie?” Cassidy said in a news release.

The union is asking the city to lean on the state to raise injury and disability payments, which it said now stand at $27 per day, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.

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“It’s unacceptable,” Cassidy said. “Nobody would risk their lives for that. God forbid we have another terrorist attack. The citizens of New York want us to do our jobs.”

Dennis Wick, 27, just became an FDNY firefighter and said he was surprised by the number.

“I graduated yesterday,” he told Lamb. “It’s definitely not enough, especially me coming out of the academy. The academy has taught me a lot, but a lot of probies get hurt early on in their career and $27 just doesn’t cut it.”

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