New York Post
December 25, 2004

MIKE 'RAISES' RHETORIC IN COP-UNION $$ TALKS

By FRANKIE EDOZIEN

Mayor Bloomberg yesterday chided the police union for failing to negotiate a new contract, especially since he has reached deals with other municipal unions.

"It's disappointing that the police, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, chose not to negotiate at all," the mayor said.

"I'm not trying to come up with zeros; I'm trying to come up with real raises. Unfortunately, because the police have chosen not to negotiate and not change anything, we're before binding arbitration with them," Bloomberg added, speaking on his WABC radio show.

PBA President Patrick Lynch responded through a spokesman that the union "is always ready to negotiate; the problem is, the mayor's style of negotiation is 'take it or leave it.' "

But Bloomberg said the city has no extra cash.

"The next couple of billion dollars I can find, we've already spent," said the mayor, who generally favors productivity enhancements in exchange for raises.

Bloomberg also acknowledged he's not making much progress with the teachers union, and the fire union "has said they don't want to negotiate, either."

At an earlier event with sanitation workers, Bloomberg responded to a request for a raise by telling them he would get to it once he got a raise for cops.

Another disappointment, the mayor said, has been the amount of time it has taken for the city-subsidized private bus lines to be taken over by the MTA.

The city has missed several deadlines and drivers on two bus lines in Brooklyn and Queens returned to work yesterday after a three-day sickout.

Bloomberg also lashed out at Cablevision's continued opposition to the construction of a West Side stadium for the Jets, which would also double as an extension of the Javits Convention Center.

"They are trying to stop not only the stadium but the whole West Side development . . . just to protect their monopoly. They'll stop at nothing. I don't understand why they're doing it. They should just get on with their lives," the mayor said.

Among the things that pleased the mayor in 2004 were:

  • No terrorist attack in the Big Apple.
  • Jobs rebounding in the city.
  • Fewer deaths by fire and traffic accidents. If things remain the same, by the New Year it will be the lowest number of fire deaths since 1919.
  • These are at record modern-day lows — in some cases all-time lows," he said.
  • The city's construction of more affordable housing.

"I think on balance it's been a good year," the mayor said.