October 31, 2007  


Cops union boss blasts pay disparity

By Joshua Rhett Miller

LOWER MANHATTAN. Veteran city sanitation workers earn nearly $9,000 more than longtime police officers, a disparity unmatched throughout the country, a police union head claimed yesterday.

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said that between 2004 and 2006 — the span for which the PBA is still seeking a contract — the city listed $57,392 as the basic maximum pay for tenured sanitation workers. But due to a $42 per shift collection and dumping bonus, those workers actually earned $68,354, or $8,766 more during that period than police officers, who earned a top pay of $59,588.

“This is not an attack on New York City sanitation workers,” Lynch said at the PBA’s Fulton Street headquarters. “[But] New York City is the only city in America that pays the people collecting household garbage more than the people who risk their lives fighting crime and the real threat of terrorism.”

Lynch said the pay gap between the NYPD and surrounding police departments such as Suffolk County has forced roughly 1,000 trained cops to leave the NYPD in recent years.

Mayoral spokesman Jason Post said the difference in pay between police officers and sanitation workers is a matter of bargaining.

“The question PBA members should be asking isn’t why sanitation workers make more than them; it’s easily answered because the sanitation union has come to the table and negotiated raise after raise,” Post said. “The real question is why the PBA is content being left behind by police sergeants, detectives and captains who all received 28 percent increases over the same period with no productivity enhancements?”