August 22, 2008

New York Police Officers Could See Further Salary Gains

New York police officers would receive a 17% raise over four years under a tentative contract agreement between the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association and Mayor Bloomberg.

The new collective bargaining agreement covering 23,000 police officers, which must be ratified by the police union's members, would grant 4% annual raises covering August 1, 2006, to July 31, 2010, to be applied retroactively. The agreement would also boost starting pay to more than $40,000 from about $36,000. Maximum salaries would be increased to $76,488 by the end of the deal, up from $65,382 today.

According to Mr. Bloomberg, the new agreement would not complicate the city's efforts to balance the budget, as current budget projections already include the additional costs. He said yesterday that the pay reflected the police department's performance in reducing overall crime 28% over the last seven years.

"We have them to thank as much as anyone for the quality of life we enjoy in this city," Mr. Bloomberg said.

The president of the PBA, Patrick Lynch, praised the deal yesterday, saying that the increased starting and maximum pay would help the police department recruit new officers and retain current ones.

The settlement is the first to be reached at the bargaining table — rather than through arbitration — since 1994. The last contract, which covered 2004 to 2006, was decided by an arbitration panel last May and granted 10% raises to police officers while raising starting pay by more than $10,000. That deal forced the Bloomberg administration to re-evaluate the city budget and prompted other city unions to request similar benefits.