The Chief
October 11, 2002

Oct. 11 Hikes, Nov. Back Pay For Cops

1.5% Aimed at Longevity

By Mark Daly

Police Officers who have been waiting more that two years for a raise will see their take-home pay increase by as much as 12.75 percent in October and get back pay for overdue raises by Nov. 22, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association said last week.

The salaries of PBA members will jump on Oct. 11 by approximately 10.25 percent to reflect the compounding of the two 5-percent raises they receive in the contract award issued Sept. 4 by a state arbitration panel.

Cut Pension Deduction

In their Oct. 25 paycheck, the take-home pay of most officers will rise by another 2.5 percent, as pension reform legislation tied to their new contract takes effect.

The back pay owed to officers for the time period covered by the arbitration award will appear in the Nov. 22 paychecks, said PBA spokesman Al O’Leary.

The retroactive payment will total approximately $7,500, plus overtime and night differential payments.

The PBA’s arbitration award includes another 1.5 percent in “additional compensation,” which has not yet been paid. As of last week, the union and the city were still discussing how to work the increase into the longevity payments that cops receive after five, 10, 15 and 20 years on the job.

Part of Pension Reform

The extra 2.5 percent in take-home pay is the result of pension reform legislation that went into effect in August 2000 for all public employees. The reform differs among the various retirement plans and becomes effective for each public employee union as it reaches a contract agreement.

The change for Police Officers, effective with their contract award, is an additional 2.5-percent contribution by the city into their Increased Take-Home Pay (ITHP) accounts, which provide a pension enhancement at retirement.

While all Police Officers will get an extra 2.5 percent in their ITHP accounts, two groups won’t see a corresponding change in their take-home pay, according to Inspector Michael D. Wellsome, the Executive Director of the Police Pension Fund. They are the officers who are not contributing to their pensions out of their paychecks, and those who have signed up for the “ITHP waiver” to make greater bi-weekly ITHP payments through a larger paycheck deduction.