Members of the NYC Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association are heading to Miami’s Democratic presidential debate today to demonstrate against New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio after contract negotiations with the city over officer pay raises have reached a standstill.
“Mayor Bill de Blasio is campaigning for president under the slogan ‘Working People First,’ but apparently that doesn’t apply to the people who work for him,” PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said in a statement. “Over the past six years, he has offered city workers below-inflation raises, cut health benefits for both current employees and retirees, all while boosting his own pay by 15 percent.”
In January 2017, the city reached a tentative contract settlement with the PBA which included retroactive wage increases for city officers, but that contract expired in July 2017.
In the latest contract negotiations, which began 11 months ago, the NYC PBA has urged de Blasio to address police pay inequities. According to the association, New York City police officers are paid at least 30 percent less compared to average pay for officers in nearby jurisdictions and other U.S. cities.
Dozens of city council members have also signed onto letters to de Blasio urging him to raise to “market wages” the salaries of New York City police officers. “This disparity cannot be solved through below-inflation raises and cuts to health and pension benefits (cuts that would effectively wipe out the paltry wage increases members would receive), and it’s crucial to provide these officers a fair contract that will bring them closer to closing this pay gap for good,” one of the letters says.
"Whether fighting to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour or raising wages by $4 billion for city employees, Mayor de Blasio is one of the most pro-labor Mayors that New York City has ever had,” the de Blasio campaign told Morning Shift in an email. “We're excited to share our record and plan to put working people first with voters across the country on the debate stage.”