New York Daily News

April 6, 2005

IT'S NOT CHEAP to fight City Hall.

And while the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association won't put a price tag on the contract battle, it's safe to say that binding arbitration and state Public Employment Relations Board presentations have cost them millions.

So for the first time in more than 20 years, the PBA is looking to raise its biweekly dues from $20 to $27.

"We need to raise dues so that we have the resources to continue fighting the fight for pay, benefits and civil rights for New York City police officers," PBA President Pat Lynch said yesterday in a statement.

Most cops seem unfazed by the proposed increase. They acknowledge costs are up for contract disputes and lawsuits as their ranks dwindle.

PBA officials say they have lost 5,000 members in the past six years - that's almost $5 million a year in dues.

But other members want the PBA to better explain how their money is being spent.

PBA spokesman Al O'Leary said an audit that will detail expenses is pending.

The proposal to raise dues still has to be reviewed by a committee of delegates before it goes to a vote before all delegates.

Meanwhile, cops are anxiously awaiting the Public Employment Relations Board panel's decision, which could come any day now.