|NYPD gets a raise|
|Written by Cynthia Brown|
A state arbitration panel has awarded New York City patrol officers a ground-breaking contract giving them 4.5 and 5 percent raises for the two-year period covering 2004 through 2006. Patrick J. Lynch, serving his third four-year term as New York City PBA president, told a meeting of union delegates that there are several historic components to the award that make it notable and that make it one that can be built on in the future.
Lynch pointed out that for the third round (of contract negotiations) running, the PBA has produced the best outcome of any union in the city of New York. “The historical parity the city claimed existed for over a century has now clearly been broken,” Lynch said. “A PERB (Public Employment Relations Board) arbitrator has disregarded the supposed parity relationships that the city has said governs labor relations in this city.
The PBA President said in the latest two-year period alone, according to the city’s own figures, the award is worth between $80-100 million more than the other city unions received. And that doesn’t include additional compensation received by the rookies hired since January 1, 2006.
In retroactive pay through June 30, 2008, PBA members will receive over $200 million more than the city was offering with its 3 and 3.5 percent package. All the other unions accepted that deal. “This will amount to an average of over $9,000 in additional pay to each member at top pay beyond what he or she would have received under the supposed pattern,” Lynch said.
The parity-breaking deal, he pointed out, means that the city’s police officers are now paid over $2,000 more than its firefighters at basic maximum. In another example of how the pattern has been broken, Lynch pointed out that, for the period at issue, a police officer’s top salary step exceeds the first six years (out of seven) of salary for third-grade detectives.
“At over five years, our basic salary will be $65,382 to a detective third-grade’s $65,234 at the sixth step,” he said. The contract, which is retroactive, covers the more than 23,000 patrol officers working in the nation’s largest police department. Veteran officers will see their top pay climb from $59,588 to $65,382.
The salary for rookies will go from $25,100 to $35,881. Lynch said he was disappointed that the raise does not go far enough to make NYPD salaries competitive with other departments. “Even with this 9.73 percent raise in pay, we will still rank at the bottom of the pay scale when compared to other local departments and that means the NYPD will still struggle to fill a recruit class and to keep their veteran officers patrolling our own streets because the pay is not competitive.”
He added: “This award confirms that the Taylor Law’s provisions are paramount in setting fair and reasonable wages and that pay should be based upon the responsibilities employees have, the hazards and dangers they face, the skills and education required for the job and not antiquated pay relationships of a bygone era.” Lynch and his team hope the decision will compel the city to bargain in good faith with the PBA in the future.
The ink was barely dry on the decision before the PBA communicated to the city its desire to commence negotiations for the 2006-2008 contract period.
written by xsearh, April 26, 2010