Newsday
December 10, 2010

NYPD Ends Program Paying Cops Extra To Work on Vacation

By MARK TOOR

Patrick J. Lynch: "Never let them out."    
PATRICK J. LYNCH: ‘Foolish’ move won’t save money.

 

Citing budget problems, the NYPD has canceled a program that allows officers to spend one week of their vacations working for extra pay.

Officers in the program—2,634 in 2010, the department said—receive their regular salary plus straight time for hours worked on vacation. They can be assigned anywhere in the city, depending on the needs of the department. Eliminating the program, which was instituted during the fiscal crisis of the mid-1970s, is expected to save $4 million a year.

PBA: ‘Common-Sense Program’

“At a time when the NYPD is being cut by another 1,100 police officers, the city is eliminating a program that provides police protection to the city in a cost-effective manner,” said Patrick J. Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. “The results will be that the city will have to staff these positions on overtime, resulting in more, rather than less, costs to the city. It seems foolish to eliminate a common-sense program.”

“The sentiment among my membership is disappointment, to say the least,” Michael J. Palladino, president of the Detectives Endowment Association, told the New York Post. “We’re trying to determine if we have any legal, contractual recourse to challenge this.”

The decision results from Mayor Bloomberg’s order that every agency reduce its spending to trim the deficit. “The department needed to meet budget reductions without resorting to layoffs,” NYPD spokesman Paul J. Browne said in an e-mail.

PBA: No Notification

Mr. Lynch raised another point: “Not only does the elimination of the program make no sense financially, or in terms of public safety, but the city, which purports to want to work with city unions to address financial issues, unilaterally violated a provision of a collective-bargaining agreement and the union had to find out about it by reading details buried in a voluminous budget document. Such actions do not foster cooperative labor relationships.”

“That’s the way they do business,” PBA spokesman Al O’Leary said of mayoral officials. “They like to present that they have a very open labor-management relationship, but they don’t.”