Gothamist FEB 1, 2017 12:20 PM


Proposed NYPD Contract Settlement Would Give Cops Raises Greater Than Other Uniformed City Workers

BY NATHAN TEMPEY

Mayor Bill de Blasio shakes hands with Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch at a press conference announcing a proposed contract for rank-and-file NYPD officers. (Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)

The Mayor's Office and the union representing rank-and-file NYPD officers have agreed to a tentative contract settlement that would give cops a raise at a rate greater than that offered to other uniformed city workers, for reasons unclear.

"This is a paradigm shift, this is a moment of tremendous transformation within the NYPD," Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a press conference at City Hall. He called the pay increases "on par with other unions."

The contract, which must be approved by the union's 24,000 members, would give the police a 9.3 percent raise retroactive to August 2012, and running through this July. This is in line with raises in recently negotiated for sanitation, FDNY, and other uniformed workers. However, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association settlement would also come with a 2.25 percent "neighborhood policing differential."

The department's neighborhood policing plan, announced in 2015, calls for beat cops to keep consistent shifts, remain within set geographic areas, and dedicate a third of each tour to proactive police work, rather than roaming from call to call all the time. The plan is now supposed to be in effect at half the city's precincts—not citywide, meaning in March all officers will be getting a raise for something not all officers are a part of. Mayor de Blasio also pointed to the neighborhood policing push as justification for hiring 1,300 new cops in 2015, at a starting cost of $100 million annually.

Asked for elaboration on the reason for the higher raise, a PBA source said the city would be better equipped to answer why the mayor's press release ties it to neighborhood policing. The source said that the union did not threaten to resist participating in the neighborhood policing program. Generally speaking, the source said, the raise is a nod to beat cops' efforts to keep the city safe.

The Mayor's Office did not immediately respond to questions about the raise.

The PBA's members have been without a contract since 2010. Previously, union leaders frustrated by the city's offers rolled the dice by opting for arbitration, and got stuck with a 1 percent-per-year retroactive raise for the period from 2010 to 2012. In response to that outcome, and to build pressure around the ongoing negotiations, PBA members staged a series of demonstrations outside the home of arbitrator Howard Edelman, outside Gracie Mansion, and in the streets of Park Slope where Mayor de Blasio likes to squeeze in some mid-morning gym time followed by a muffin at an old haunt.

PBA officials frequently stress that NYPD officers make less than their counterparts in New York City's suburbs.

The proposed agreement calls for the PBA to drop an administrative lawsuit against the police body-camera program. The Mayor's Office said that the NYPD is now on track to outfit all patrol officers with body cameras by 2019.

Additionally, the union agreed to drop a grievance claim regarding the requirement that officers carry and administer the anti-overdose drug naloxone, and refrain from suing over the requirement in the future, and to end administrative and court claims over city agreements setting benchmarks for healthcare savings and welfare fund contributions.

Update 2:35 p.m.:

Mayor's Office spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein sent the following statement regarding the extra raise:

[A]ll PBA officers will get the increase. Neighborhood policing is part and parcel of the entire program and refers to many things—wearing a body camera, being trained to administer naloxone, providing a cell phone number to those you patrol, which means they can reach you at any time regardless of whether you’re off the clock—it’s a fundamental change in the way we do policing and it effects everyone. This differential is a recognition of that.