New York Post
July 8, 2006

Mayor's Maneuver Outrages Cop Union

By CARL CAMPANILE

Labor war broke out between City Hall and the police union yesterday after Mayor Bloomberg asked for binding arbitration to settle a new contract.

Bloomberg claimed the current round of talks failed to produce a deal and notified state officials that the parties reached an impasse — the first step to having an arbitrator impose a new labor contract.

He said the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association had not responded to two proposals the past few months, which included a provision to substantially boost the salaries of rookie cops.

But the PBA cried foul. Union President Patrick Lynch said he was blindsided, finding out about the action from the media.

He said the PBA told city officials it would submit a counter officer.

"That outrageous behavior demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that the Bloomberg administration never had any interest of negotiating a fair contractor with their grossly underpaid police officers," Lynch said.

Usually, it's the unions — not City Hall — that asks for arbitration.

And binding arbitration substantially cut the starting salaries for rookie officers, which Police Commissioner Ray Kelly complained had hurt recruitment.

The mayor had recommended raising starting salaries for rookies from $25,000 to $37,800 to rectify the problem.

carl.campanile@nypost.com