New York 1 News

July 28, 2004

Police, Firefighters Head To City Hall To Demand Meeting With Mayor

Hundreds of off-duty police officers and firefighters descended on City Hall Wednesday to demand a meeting with Mayor Michael Bloomberg to discuss a new contract.

Members of the police and firefighters unions have been working without contracts since July 2002.

Protestors who attended today’s rally say they are tired of not getting pay raises. They also claim they are being disrespected by City Hall.

The crowd began chanting "Bloomberg, come down," but the mayor did not heed the call.

“This mayor is not taking care of the people that take care of the citizens of this city each and every day,” said Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch.

”City officials can’t come to the funerals of cops and firefighter and tell their widows they are heroes, and not pay us a fair wage,” said Uniform Firefighters Association President Stephen Cassidy.

The mayor says the best way for all sides to come to an agreement is to sit down at the bargaining table.

“The strategy of following me around yelling and screaming is just counter productive,” said Bloomberg. “There's no way we can allow that kind of behavior to set labor policy.”

Members of both the PBA and the UFA have been picketing outside of Madison Square Garden since July 19th. They say they will continue to protest through and even past next month's Republican National Convention, which is being held at MSG.