Newsday
October 10, 2014


NYC PBA media ad blitz aims to push for better contract

By ANTHONY M. DESTEFANO  anthony.destefano@newsday.com

 
(Credit: Getty Images)     
The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association is shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for a media ad blitz that began appearing Thursday and is aimed at pushing City Hall to give NYPD cops a contract with a raise, said union officials.   

The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association is shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for a media ad blitz that began appearing Thursday and is aimed at pushing City Hall to give NYPD cops a contract with a raise, said union officials.

Full-page ads appeared in Newsday, The New York Daily News and the New York Post and featured the NYPD officer's oath of office interspersed with remarks about the difficulty of being a cop in the city. In the ad are four words in bold letters: "Overworked. Understaffed. Underpaid. Unappreciated."

PBA president Patrick Lynch said in an interview, "It is about the attitude of City Hall and the City Council that police officers are always wrong."

A spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio countered: "This is another example of this union bargaining in the press instead of at the negotiating table in an effort to win leverage in its current labor discussions with the city."

Lynch said new measures, such as the federal court-ordered monitor and inspector general, are saddling cops with more oppressive oversight, as well as the threat of what the ad called "opportunistic lawsuits." Lynch underscored that police also have to deal with a 1,600-page Patrol Guide outlining procedures and practices.

Ads are also slated to appear in community newspapers and in ethnic media, said a PBA spokesman. Similar ads have appeared in the past on radio, the spokesman noted.

The PBA, the main union for about 25,000 rank-and-file officers, has been working without a contract since 2010 and Lynch said the latest city proposal was for no raise for an 18-month period.

"It looks like we are going to arbitration," said Lynch, who acknowledged that a better contract offer from the city could prevent that.

A new contract is vital to keep cops motivated, he said, estimating the print media push costs tens of thousands of dollars.

"We can step back or continue the renaissance," said Lynch, referring to the two-decade long decline in crime in the city.

A police spokesman didn't return calls for comment.

With Matthew Chayes