New York Post
August 15, 2002

THE ANGRY BLUE LINE

By DAVID SEIFMAN, LARRY CELONA and TODD VENEZIA

COPS PLAN TIMES SQ. LABOR RALLY

By LARRY CELONA & FRANKIE EDOZIEN

City cops - who will join firefighters for a massive union rally in Times Square today - will get a 14.1 percent pay raise under a contract arbiters proposal, sources said.

The raise, however, comes with strings attached. And that angers officers.

"This decision is a clear message to other unions not to go outside the city to seek a fair contract," said Patrolmens Benevolent Association board member John Giangrasso about the proposal by a contract arbiter from the state Public Employment Relations Board.

Under the decision, police will get a retroactive 5 percent raise for each of the last two years.

On top of that, officers will get a 3.5 percent bonus, also effective immediately, that comes with the stipulation they rearrange their schedule to work shorter hours each day - but make up the time by coming in 10 extra days over the year.

"The NYPD is the most overworked police department in the country," said PBA President Patrick Lynch. "To ask us to work 10 more days is wrong and outrageous."

In addition to the annual increases and the 3.5 percent bonus, cops with six or more years experience will get an $1,800 increase, meaning veterans will get a boost of 14.11 percent overall.

Before any of this goes into effect, however, the plan will have to be signed by the chairman of a three-member Public Employment Relations Board panel. Approval is considered likely.

Thousands of officers angry over the deal are expected to join a crowd of firefighters - who are also without a contract and fighting for a pay raise - at a noon rally in Times Square.

The firefighters union said it expected up to 4,500 members of New Yorks bravest and their families. The PBA would not estimate how many cops would show up.

Firefighters arent as far along in the pay-raise process as the cops. The firefighters were offered a roughly 4 percent per year raise in August of 2001, but have not finalized a deal.

"We've remained silent for 11 months because our financial issues were not at the top of our priority list," said Joe Miccio, recording secretary for the Uniformed Firefighters Association. "Now its time we address our pay issues."

SERVING THE CITY

Base pay for city workers (not including overtime)

Police Officer

July 31, 2000 +5% raise
July 31, 2001 +5% raise
Aug. 1, 2002 +3.5% bonus
+ $1,800 for officers with more than six years' service

Start $31,000
Top $50,000

Fire Fighter*

Start $32,724
Top $49,023

* This contract has expired

Teacher

Start $39,000
Top $81,000

Sanitation Worker

Start $30,696
Top $48,996