November 29, 2017

Mediator to aid city, PBA talks

Anthony M. DeStefano

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

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

PERB is the agency set up by the state Taylor Law, the statute governing labor relations in state government departments, to implement the law. Under Taylor Law, government employees are prohibited from striking.

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 package would be from Aug. 1, 2017 to July 31, 2019, said the PBA.

The appointment of Conley came after the city and PBA conducted 45 days of negotiations ordered by PERB. If both sides fail to agree on a contract, then the parties will have to submit to binding arbitration before a three-person panel.