Capital News 5:39 a.m. | May. 15, 2015

Cuomo sides with uniformed workers vs. de Blasio

By Azi Paybarah and Gloria Pazmino

PENSION FIGHT -- Cuomo sides with unions opposing de Blasio proposal -- AP’s Colleen Long:¬†Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday he stands behind police and fire unions in a fight to increase the benefits city uniformed workers will receive if they're seriously injured on the job. "I agree with [PBA president] Pat Lynch that there should be parity for the NYPD should any of those officers be disabled in the line of duty," [Cuomo] told the AP. "And it needs to be done one way or another as soon as possible."

The governor's statement to The Associated Press came a day after the unions panned a proposal offered by Mayor Bill de Blasio. "We owe the brave men and women of our uniform services in New York City the same assurances afforded to every other first responder in the state," Cuomo said. Before July 2009, city police officers and firefighters received disability retirement benefits equal to 75 percent of their salaries plus any Social Security benefits. After state law changes, all the city's uniformed workers injured on the job get 50 percent of their pay, further decreased depending on any Social Security benefits.

Union leaders not part of negotiation: Uniformed Firefighters Association head Steve Cassidy said the mayor's proposal didn't include any input from the unions. "There was no discussion, no debate, no consult with us ... regarding how this could impact our members," Cassidy said.