New York Post
December 18, 2004

COP-RAISE RULING MIGHT LEAD TO LAYOFFS: MIKE

By DAVID SEIFMAN

The NYPD will have to cut its work force if an arbitration panel awards cops larger raises than the city has budgeted, Mayor Bloomberg warned yesterday.

"If the arbitrator were to give them more than the pattern and there were no changes in work rules that would let us generate the money, we'd just have to do it with fewer police officers," the mayor said.

"Hopefully, we could do it with fewer because of attrition."

Bloomberg's comments, made on his weekly WABC radio show, marked the first time he's tied the decision of an arbitrator to the size of the police force.

Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, quickly dismissed the mayor's threat as a negotiating ploy.

"The mayor is trying to use scare tactics to improperly influence the arbitration panel," Lynch said.

The administration has been in a contract standoff with teachers, cops and firefighters for months.

All have rejected the pattern deal accepted by District Council 37, the largest municipal union, of $1,000 in the first year of a three-year pact, 3 percent the second year and 1 percent the third.

Bloomberg has repeatedly offered to sweeten the pot in return for "productivity," a route followed by city doctors who extended their work week and walked off with wage hikes exceeding 10 percent.

But cops and firefighters have held fast.

Cops began binding arbitration early last month. Hearings continue through mid-January and the best guess is that a three-person arbitration panel will issue its decision in March.