June 28, 2005

Cops get pay hike

The Associated Press

A state arbitration panel has awarded the city's police officers a retroactive pay raise of about 10 percent over two years, rejecting a lower hike proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, union officials said Tuesday.

The arbitration panel began considering the matter in November after the city and the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association failed to reach an agreement during two years of negotiations.

The PBA had argued that its 22,000 members were vastly underpaid compared to officer in other large cities and in suburbs on Long Island and elsewhere.

The Bloomberg administration had wanted to give the officers only a 5 percent raise over three years -- the same amount given to District Council 37, the city's largest municipal labor union.

Union president Patrick Lynch called the raise "a step in the right direction." However, he criticized the arbitration panel's decision to allow the New York Police Department to pay lower salaries to police recruits.

"This reduction in starting salary for future hires is not in the long-term interest of the city," he said. A call to the City Hall press office was not immediately returned.

Because the officers' contract expired on July 31, 2002, they will receive an average of $12,000 in back pay.