New York Daily News

October 31, 2007

Police union trashes city

BY ALISON GENDAR
DAILY NEWS POLICE BUREAU CHIEF

Even sanitation workers make more than city cops, the head of the city's largest police union railed yesterday.

"New York City is the only city in America that pays more to people who pick up household garbage than to people who put their lives on the line," Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch.said.

The salvo was the latest in Lynch's campaign for higher wages as the PBA and City Hall enter binding arbitration Nov. 6 to resolve the stalled contract talks.

Between the maximum base pay of $57,392 for sanitation workers — and an additional $10,962 a year as a productivity bonus for guys on the truck — the majority of the Strongest outstrip a cop's base salary of $59,588 at the end of 5 1/2 years.

Nearly 4,000 experienced cops have left the NYPD in the past four years because of the low salaries, Lynch said. They left for rhigher-paying departments — on average 40% more — and even to the Sanitation Department, he said.

City Hall said sanitation work· ers earn more than cops because sanitation union leaders settled a contract — as did the city's other police unions.police_unions.

"The sanitation union has come to the table and negotiated raise after raise," City Hall spokesman Jason Post said.

"The real question is why the P.BA is content being left behind by police sergeants, detectives and captains, who all received 28% increases over the same period with no productivity enhancements," Post said

Harry Nespoli, head of the Uniformed Sanitationmen's Association, said by .agreeing to collect more trash on longer runs his workers saved city taxpayers millions of dollars. In exchange, members got productivity bonuses.

"Productivity in our job means more tonnage: You have to lift more and work harder," Nespoli said. "We'll work harder and we want to share in the savings. I see nothing wrong with that."

Lynch countered that it is harder to calculate a cop's productivity — though the end results can be seen in the drop in crime that helped fuel an economic boom. He said there are 5,000 fewer cops than in 1999.

"That work sbould be credited — and paid for," Lynch said.

agendar@nydailynews.com