New York Daily News

Mike talks tough on cop pay

By Michael Saul

June 9, 2007—City cops aren't all that special, Mayor Bloomberg suggested yesterday as he continued his hard-line contract negotiations with the police union.

"We have lots of people that work very hard, lots of people who put their lives at risk," Bloomberg said.

The mayor made his comments as he vowed to continue the city's longtime practice of pattern bargaining - giving essentially the same percentage pay increase to all city unions.

"We are not going to break the pattern and bankrupt this city," he said.

Talks between City Hall and the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association are deadlocked, and the contract has been submitted to binding arbitration.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has blamed the NYPD's paltry $25,100 starting pay for crippling recruiting and recently proposed boosting salaries by breaking the strategy of pattern bargaining.

The PBA has long argued that cops deserve higher salaries than other city employees because officers routinely risk their lives and have dramatically reduced crime in recent years.

PBA President Patrick Lynch dismissed Bloomberg's comments yesterday.

"You can never pay police officers enough for the dangers they face," Lynch said. "What the city must do is to pay them enough to keep them patrolling our streets and not fleeing for better-paying jobs in the suburbs."