Chicago Sun-Times
August 11, 2004

N.Y. strike possible at GOP convention

NEW YORK -- Police officers and firefighters announced an impasse Tuesday in their contract negotiations with the city and refused to rule out an illegal strike or sickouts during the Republican National Convention.

Off-duty police officers have recently been showing up at Mayor Michael Bloomberg's daily public appearances and picketing outside Madison Square Garden, the site of the Republican National Convention beginning Aug. 30.

''Everyone has a limit, and the mayor needs to know we're close to our limit,'' said Stephen Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association.

Several other city unions have already accepted a 5 percent raise plus $1,000 over three years. A mayor's spokesman said Tuesday that the city's last offer to the police and fire unions was a $1,000 lump sum payment plus an 8 percent pay increase, though most of that hike would be contingent on other contract changes such as lower pay for new workers. AP