New York 1 News

August 27, 2004

Mayor Expresses Frustration Over Contract Talks With Police Union

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the police union is taking a chance going to binding arbitration.

   

Speaking on his radio show Friday morning, the mayor says he wishes he could pay police more, and hopes to find a way to do it.

He also said that he always thought that if they sat at the table and bargained, they would eventually come to an agreement. But he says that in a practical sense, the two sides haven't negotiated for the past two and a half years.

"They just aren't willing to understand that the city doesn't have a pot of money and we've got to find some changes," said Bloomberg. "They call it givebacks, but it doesn't have to be givebacks. It can be changes that will let us save money, and we will give that money to our municipal workers: police, fire. We've done half of the city's employees, basically we've done exactly that, and I think we should do it with this. Maybe that's exactly what the binding arbitration will order."

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch issued a statement in response, saying: "The PBA has been bargaining at the table for months without hearing a single realistic offer from the city. If the mayor wishes to negotiate with us personally, the PBA is willing and able to do that at any time and place."