New York Post
August 20, 2004

New York Police and Fire Unions Demonstrate with Mock Table

By STEPHANIE GASKELL

The police and fire unions set up a mock bargaining table outside City Hall yesterday and asked the mayor — in Athens lobbying to bring the Olympic Games to New York in 2012 — to sit down with them and negotiate a new contract.

"The mayor is jet-setting around town, around the world, in his private jet, inviting people to come to New York City," said Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch. "He's not taking care of business at home."

The unions have been hounding the mayor for weeks, following him to his public events and even picketing outside his Upper East Side town house in the middle of the night. And union leaders said they had no plan to let up any time soon.

"We'll continue to follow this mayor, to wake him up in the morning and at night, and we'll take that through the [Republican] convention," Lynch said.

Union leaders won't rule out a strike at the convention — even though it would be illegal.

Both unions have been working without a contract for more than a year.

Bloomberg said he's offered them an 8 percent pay raise with 5 percent of that coming from productivity gains.

The unions say the mayor has offered them only 4 percent, with 1 percent coming from givebacks.

"He either has to change that number or step out of the way," said Uniformed Firefighters Association President Steve Cassidy, suggesting that an outside arbitrator take over the negotiations.