New York 1 News

December 21, 2001

Court Decision Could Lead To Higher Pay Raise For Police And Firefighters

The Court of Appeals upheld a state law Thursday that allows police and firefighter's unions to ask the state's Public Employee Relations Board to help resolve contract disputes, a move that could help them secure bigger pay raises for their members.

The decision effectively takes away the power to arbitrate from the city's Office of Collective Bargaining.

PBA President Pat Lynch said the ruling will help reward the city's police officers for their heroism.

Lynch also said he believes it will help the Department recruit and retain officers by offering salaries more comparable to suburban departments.

But Mayor Giuliani criticized the court's decision, saying the Office of Collective Bargaining is the appropriate place for public employment disputes to be resolved.

The Giuliani Administration argued that the law will drive up labor costs and bankrupt city government.