New York Daily News

July 30, 2007


PBA out in the cold

The NYPD's inability to recruit cops now rests at the feet of just one person: Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch. With Thursday's announcement that the Captains Endowment Association and the city reached agreement on an eight-year contract that provides for 37% raises, all the police unions - in fact, every uniformed service union in the city - have now settled, except Lynch's.

Each of the other NYPD bargaining units - the captains, the detectives, the sergeants, the lieutenants - followed the pattern set for all the municipal unions and did well for their members. Only Lynch refuses to negotiate a contract that would eliminate the shameful starting salary of a measly $25,100 a year.

It was arbitration, sought by the PBA, that slashed rookie pay to finance raises for veterans. Since then, recruiting is down to a trickle, and the NYPD may have to cut Operation Impact, the flood-the-zone strategy that has driven felonies down.

Lynch has blamed Mayor Bloomberg for starving the NYPD, all the while refusing to negotiate a contract. Instead, he forced the mayor to seek arbitration again, then fought the arbitration process.

Adhering to established bargaining patterns and negotiating in good faith has worked well for all the other unions. It certainly did for the captains, whose boss, John Driscoll, struck a good deal after going nose to nose with city negotiators. The maximum salary will top $141,000 a year, up from $103,577. Adding in longevity, holiday pay and other benefits, it could reach $165,000 - fair compensation for men and women with huge executive responsibilities.

The city also will boost its contributions to the welfare and annuity funds and savings plan. In exchange, the union made reasonable sacrifices. Captains will have six fewer leave days, and newly promoted captains will work an extra hour on 261 tours for their first five years.

The sergeants and lieutenants scored raises that top inflation, without making givebacks, as have firefighters, fire officers and sanitation workers. Lynch was offered a similar deal, but he has stonewalled and blamed the mayor for leaving the PBA behind. He is now a lone voice, his union the only one with no deal and scant hope of getting one soon. His destructive mission ill serves his members and the city.