The New York Times

August 24, 2004


Binding Arbitration Ordered in Police Negotiations

By STEVEN GREENHOUSE

The New York State Public Employment Relations Board has ordered that the contract dispute between New York City and its main police union go to binding arbitration, city and union officials said yesterday.

Under state law, the two sides will name the three members of an arbitration panel, which will then hear arguments from the city and the union and determine the wages and other terms of a new contract.

Despite the move toward binding arbitration, a spokesman for the union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, said the union would still demonstrate at the Republican National Convention next week to criticize Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's wage offer. The union also seeks to put pressure on the mayor to make a proposal that could still settle the dispute without arbitration.

"Even if we're in the middle of arbitration, up to the very last moment the city can still make a better offer that we might accept,'' said Al O'Leary, the police union's spokesman. "It's like a trial.''