New York Times
December 10, 2014


New York City and 8 Labor Unions Reach Tentative Contract

By NIKITA STEWART and AL BAKER

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an agreement on Tuesday night with a coalition of eight labor unions representing 12,000 high-ranking officers, marking his administration’s first deal with uniformed labor organizations.

Mr. de Blasio called a rare, impromptu evening news conference to announce the tentative contract agreement, which would give the officers — including police captains, sanitation chiefs and deputy jail wardens — an 11 percent raise over seven years.

The agreement with the Uniformed Superior Officers Coalition would give the workers an additional 1 percent raise compared to a deal that had been struck this year with other unions, which will receive a 10 percent increase over seven years.

“These leaders articulated very fairly that it was right to acknowledge the difficulty of this work and the dangers of this work and that there should be additional compensation because of that,” Mr. de Blasio said.

With the agreement, expected to be ratified by February, Mr. de Blasio’s administration now has agreements with 71 percent of the city’s employees who had been working under expired contracts when he took office in January. But negotiations still loom with the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association, the Sergeants Benevolent Association and other rank-and-file police and correction officers.

The deal includes no raise until the first day of the last month of the first year. It also would not allow the unions representing managers to reopen their contracts if the lower-ranking unions get raises larger than theirs.

A spokesman for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the largest police union, which represents 24,000 rank-and-file officers, said the deal would not affect the upcoming arbitration proceedings to establish a new contract for the officers, who have been working without one since June 2010.

“It has no bearing on how we go forward,” said the spokesman.

Patrick J. Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said through a spokesman: “Compared to our fellow police officers, we are the lowest paid. Zeros are unacceptable.”

Tuesday’s pact follows the pattern of other labor deals struck this year, set by the contract with the United Federation of Teachers, of unions helping the city reduce health care costs.

According to the city, health care savings through the deal with the coalition and use of city reserve funds would add up to $145.4 million, reducing the cost of the agreement to the city to $413.7 million, instead of $559.1 million.

Unlike other agreements, the deal with the coalition would not give the members of the unions a $1,000 ratification bonus, though there is an arrangement under which members could opt to get an average of $660 each.

Roy T. Richter, president of the Captains Endowment Association, who is the co-chairman of the Uniformed Superior Officers Coalition, said the organizations came together last year to negotiate with the city with the idea that there would be strength in numbers. The coalition began negotiations in July

“This has been a product of a lot of talks,” Mr. Richter said in an interview. “I think we’ve got a fair deal and one that is in the best interest of my members and in the best interests of the City of New York.”