Feb. 26, 2016 : 6:00 pm
By RICHARD STEIER
Police Officers overwhelmingly approved a contract that gives them raises of 2.25 percent above the city bargaining pattern but covers the cost by reducing the pay scale for future hires, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association announced Feb. 27.
The five-year accord, which was retroactive to Aug. 1, 2012 and will expire this Aug.1, was favored by 98 percent of the 24,000-member union’s rank and file. An unusually high 77 percent of the members returned the mail ballots, which were tallied by the American Arbitration Association, and only 369 of the 18,660 who voted went against the deal.
‘A Clear Message’
“The message from the membership is clear,” PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said in a statement. “They want this union to continue its fight for a market rate of pay and they will remain active, vocal and united until that goal is achieved.”
The total value of the raises—11.25 percent before compounding is included—exceeded the 9 percent in hikes previously reached by other uniformed unions as the final five years of their seven-year pacts. It did so, however at the expense of the “unborn”—future hires will advance to maximum pay, which will now be $85,292, in smaller steps than those already on the job, costing them about $36,000 over their first 5 ½ years of service compared to those hired as recently as two months ago.
The added 2.25 percent is being allocated in connection with the NYPD’s neighborhood-policing initiative, but will be paid to all officers, including those not assigned to patrol duty. Those who were on the job from the beginning of the contract period will receive as much as $15,000 in back pay.
The pact also features a significantly improved disability benefit for cops hired after 2009 and gives all officers the right to cash in all unused leave days once they exit the NYPD. It also implements the city’s body-camera program, which will expand to affect 5,000 patrol officers by July 2018 and require all those on patrol to wear and operate them by the end of the following year.