Atlanta Journal-Constitutional
June 9, 2004

Union Members Protest at NYC's City Hall

NEW YORK (AP) --Thousands of police, fire and teachers union members rallied Tuesday to demand higher pay raises than Mayor Michael Bloomberg is willing to give them.

``After 9/11 ... they said, `We will never forget,''' Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch told the rally outside City Hall. ``Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sorry to stand here and report that they have forgotten.''

PBA members were joined by the United Federation of Teachers and the Uniformed Firefighters Association.

The labor groups have been working without a contract. Earlier, Bloomberg said the city would like to negotiate a contract similar to one agreed to earlier by District Council 37--by city's largest union.

DC-37 members received retroactive 3 percent wage increases and $1,000 cash payments during the first two years of the contract. In the third year, employees will get additional 2 percent to 3 percent raises; in return, new hires will receive lower pay and benefits.

The police, fire and teachers' unions say that's not enough.