New York Daily News

Mike & Cops in Pay Limbo

BY MICHAEL SAUL DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

October 21, 2006—Mayor Bloomberg and the city's largest police union remained at loggerheads over a new contract yesterday, with the disagreement heading toward binding arbitration.

Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, said the city's offer of 3% and 3.15% raises over two years is "lower than inflation" and "completely unacceptable to New York City police officers who are earning tens of thousands of dollars less each year than other local police departments."

But City Hall's top negotiator said the Bloomberg administration had offered the union several proposals that would increase starting salaries for rookies to $40,000 per year in the first year on the job. Rookie pay was slashed to $25,100 by the last contract.

The offers also proposed giving cops already on the job the same raise that firefighters received, said James Hanley, commissioner of the city Office of Labor Relations.

"The city has been able to settle contracts with virtually all of its over 300,000 employees for this period," Hanley said. "Unfortunately, the PBA continues to choose a more lengthy process where someone else settles the contract for the parties."

Lynch noted that the standoff between the union and City Hall marks the fifth time in the last six rounds of contract talks that the union has "been forced" to go to binding arbitration.

Lynch said it is regrettable that City Hall "forces us to go through a lengthy and expensive binding arbitration process just to achieve a fair contract."

msaul@nydailynews.com