AM NY Nov. 28, 2017

State labor mediator tapped to broker deal between cops, NYC


Patrolmens Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch, above, applauded the appointment of a state mediator to help broker a deal between NYC and the rank-and-file NYPD cops he represents. (Credit: Craig Ruttle)

A state labor panel has picked a mediator in an effort to get New York City negotiators and the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association to hammer out a new two-year contract, officials said Tuesday.

By appointing William Conley, its assistant director of conciliation, as mediator, the Public Employment Relations Board hopes to assist in negotiations that both the PBA and the board have said are at an impasse.

The board’s authority comes as a result of the state Taylor Law, which went into effect in 1967 and deals with the labor relations of public employees. The law prohibits government employees from striking and gives the board the power to resolve labor disputes.

The city and the PBA, which represents about 24,000 rank- and-file cops, have continued negotiations since the last contract expired on July 31. In a statement, PBA President Patrick Lynch described the city’s posture as one of delaying tactics and submitting offers with no economic benefits for NYPD officers.

Taking into account various contract givebacks, the city offer amounted to “42 months of zeros” in terms of wage and economic benefits, said Lynch, who applauded the appointment of Conley.

Freddi Goldstein, a spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio, said “we expect to hear from William Conley shortly so that we can begin the process of mediation.”

Goldstein declined to reveal the substance of the city contract offer. One police official who didn’t want to be named, described it as laden with giveback provisions as described by Lynch.

The two-year pact under negotiation would cover the period from Aug. 1, 2017 to July 31, 2019, according to the PBA.

The appointment of Conley as mediator came after the city and PBA conducted 45 days of negotiations ordered by the board with no deal reached. If Conley fails to convince city negotiators and the PBA to agree on a contract, both sides will have to submit to binding arbitration before a three-person panel.

Negotiations between the city and the PBA have historically been contentious. Last January, both sides finally agreed on a contract retroactive to 2012 that expired in July.

The deal provided for a 9.3 percent wage increase for PBA members over five years.