New York 1 News

August 22, 2008    

 Police Reach Tentative Deal For New Contract

After a long fight for better pay, New York police officers negotiated a tentative new contract with the city Thursday, giving officers a pay increase of 17 percent over four years.

The mayor announced the labor agreement from City Hall alongside Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

The settlement marks the first time an agreement has been reached at the bargaining table since 1994.

"If we were able to get it done at the table, that's where I want to get it done. We had differences in the past and we went to arbitration. Today, we were able to get it done at table," said Lynch. "We literally sat at the table until an hour before the press conference was called. Got it done. It's significant. The members should be proud of it. This is significant amounts of monies and huge move to market rate pay."

Lynch and Kelly had argued that low salaries were to blame for the NYPD's difficulty attracting new recruits and said rookie officers in other U.S. cities were making up to twice as much.

Under the new contract, starting salaries will go from $36,000 to $42,000, retroactive to 2006. It had been $25,000, but was increased through an arbitrator's ruling a few months ago, but the PBA remained unsatisfied.

Base pay for veterans will rise from $65,400 from $76,500. With longevity pay, holiday pay, and overtime, the salary can add up to $91,000.

"I can tell you that they in my opinion deserve every dollar of this settlement," said Kelly.

The NYPD had problems recruiting and keeping its members due to lower salaries as compared to neighboring police departments.

In comparison, starting officers in Washington, D.C. make over $48,000, almost $58,000 in neighboring Suffolk County and over $70,000 in San Jose, C.A.

"We believe this will help make the job more attractive to new recruits so that we can continue to attract even more top quality candidates," said Bloomberg, who credited Lynch with helping to negotiate the agreement.

"This is right; our members should be very proud of this contract and I believe they will ratify this contract," added Lynch.

"Every day, hundreds of PBA officers go out and make arrests that keep this city safe," said Kelly. "The public sometimes takes our success for granted."

The new deal, which covers the 23,000 members of the PBA, is retroactive to August 1, 2006 and runs through July 31, 2010. Once ratified within the next few weeks, it will be the first time since the mid-1990s that officers will be working with a current contract.

As part of the agreement, the PBA is dropping six lawsuits against the city.