New York Daily News

August 31, 2004

Beantown cops join N.Y. pickets

BY FERNANDA SANTOS DAILY NEWS POLICE BUREAU

For months, the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association hounded Mayor Tom Menino over stalled contract talks with picket lines and noisy protests on the eve of the Democratic National Convention.

Yesterday, the union brought its show to New York.

A busload of Boston cops - fresh out of a deal that gave them a 14.5% pay hike - rolled into the city to throw their support behind the NYPD Patrolmen's Benevolent Association's bid for a raise here.

"New York City police officers deserve dignity and respect," said Tom Nee, president of Boston's PBA. "And if they're merely not going to get it, we're coming here to take it back."

The visiting cops - along with a small contingent from Nassau County, Miami and Phoenix - have boosted picket lines stretched thin this week, when police officers are assigned to work 12-hour days.

Holding signs that read, "Two years without a contract ... Is this any way to treat the heroes of 9/11?" the transplanted officers gathered at the PBA's headquarters in downtown Manhattan.

They headed to the Bryant Park Grill in midtown, where Mayor Bloomberg, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Arizona Sen. John McCain dined to celebrate the opening day of the Republican National Convention.

The group is gearing up to picket every event that Bloomberg attends during the convention.

"We'll be here for as long as it takes," boasted Chris Bailey, a Boston patrolman.

The average base starting salary for a city cop or firefighter is about $37,000. Both have worked without a contract since 2002.

"Our members are working to keep all of us safe today," PBA President Pat Lynch said, "so we thank our brothers and sisters who came from around the country to support us."

With Michele McPhee