New York Daily News

August 12, 2002

Pay-hike idea is panned

By MICHAEL SAUL
Daily News City Hall Bureau

Mayor Bloomberg expressed opposition yesterday to Sen. Chuck Schumer's proposal to use $500 million in federal emergency aid to supplement raises for cops and firefighters.

"A one-time shot of money doesn't help us," Bloomberg said. "It just gives us a bigger problem next year."

On Saturday, Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on President Bush to permit the city to use a portion of the $21 billion in federal aid promised the city after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks for cop and firefighter raises.

He said $20 million of the aid coming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency should go toward cops' and firefighters' pension plans.

FEMA funds, though, have never been used for such a purpose, and Bloomberg doubted yesterday the agency would ever support it.

But Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, said yesterday through a spokesman: "We can't afford not to do this."

Andy Katzman, a spokesman for Schumer, said: "We understand the mayor's concerns, but we do think our proposal could help in the short-term."

The proposal followed news that some cops are threatening an illegal Labor Day walkout to protest a state arbitration panel's reported decision to give officers a two-year contract with annual 5% raises. The PBA is seeking 23% over two years.