New York Daily News

December 11, 2002

Civil service

Pension, pact wins for the PBA

By Bill Farrell

A threat of a transit strike is certainly worthy of everyone's attention. But while everyone has been busy monitoring all the saber-rattling between transit officials and the union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association has scored a couple of quiet triumphs.

In the days just before Thanksgiving, the PBA and the city ended a pension dispute that started with the 1995 merger with transit and housing police.

Under the agreement, former transit and housing officers who worked within other city and state agencies - with peace officer status - can "buy back" that time and have it added to their 20-year pension requirement.

Before the agreement, the time could be purchased but would be counted only after 20 years of service.

"There were hundreds of officers who were affected by the agreement," said PBA general counsel Mich-ael Murray. "There was cases where people were able to put in their retirement papers the next day."

According to Murray, one former cop went from 18 years to 26 years, and several others went from 14 and 15 years to more than 20.

PBA President Patrick Lynch also hailed a Public Employment Relations Board decision that requires all clauses in a collective bargaining agreement be the presumed mandatory subjects of bargaining on a new contract.

The PBA raised the issue after the city said the 48-hour rule was a nonmandatory subject of collective bargaining.

"The decisions won by the PBA are important for two reasons. First of all, they provide equal and fair treatment for all police officers. Secondly, they level the playing field, which in the past had favored the city in labor negotiations," Lynch said.

City Labor Relations Commissioner Jim Hanley said the decision "will have a chilling effect," on future negotiations and the scope of contract talks.