Channel 7: WABC News

August 14, 2002

PBA Playing the Hero Card In Advance Of NYPD Rally For Pay Increase

     

A Broadway show of thousands is being promised by the Union for New York city police officers, with a cast of frustrated cops packing Times Square. The PBA is asking the public to join them, and appealing to the emotions evoked by September 11th. The union ran an ad in newspapers Wednesday, showing an officer and firefighter carrying a wounded man from ground zero, with the banner, "Now we need your support."

New Yorker: "I guess they have a legitimate reason for this."

New Yorker: "You know, I think they are doing a good job, but I think that comes along with their job, is being a hero like that, not an extra factor in getting a raise."

Pat Lynch, PBA President: "We know that the communities are behind us. The phones are ringing off the hook. They are outraged, 'Why aren't we paying the heroes of 9/11 and the heroes that kept me safe all these years in the city.'"

The police union is mobilizing based on reports that a state arbitration panel will grant a two-year contract with annual five percent raises, and essentially add 10 more working days. The officers have worked without a contract for two years, and are asking for a 23 percent raise.

The mayor said he understands the need for cops to vent their frustration.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City (R): "They have a right to express themselves. They'll do it orderly, I'm sure. They're responsible employees of the city. The police department will provide the necessary security."

Police rallies in past years have been known for their spirit, if not rowdiness. But Police Commissioner Ray Kelly expects no trouble.

Commissioner Ray Kelly, NYPD: "We will appropriately and adequately staff the event tomorrow."

Firefighters have been invited to participate in Thursday's rally as well. They say that they are also paid less than their counterparts in other departments in the tri-state area, and they will likely face a tough negotiation process.