February 18, 2016, 6:01 PM
|JOE MARINO/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS|
|Friends helping friends|
Casting aside a promised single standard for all New Yorkers, Mayor de Blasio said Thursday that he will sign the pay raise bill voted by the City Council.
A mayoral signature would create two classes of municipal workers — one composed of the vast majority of almost 300,000 employees and the other composed of the Council’s 51 members.
Naturally, the 51 would be golden compared with everyone else, including New York’s cops.
The mayor has often cited settling long outstanding labor contract as among his proudest accomplishments. The terms were generous, particularly when compared with those offered by his predecessor.
Altogether, de Blasio gave the workforce raises totaling 27% going as far back as 10 years — with a few unions yet to settle. Key among the holdouts is the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.
Through arbitration, the PBA secured 1% raises for contracts covering 2006 and 2007, amounts in line with de Blasio’s pattern for those years.
Now, representing more than 20,000 cops, the union is seeking to break de Blasio’s pattern for later contract years.
The mayor would give President Pat Lynch grounds to demand handsome raises should the mayor follow through by approving hikes for the Council totaling 32%.
The positions for city elected officials have not had pay increases in a decade (although hardly any have been in office that long). A commission in December recommended hikes for most posts that are roughly in line with inflation.
Endorsing the recommendations in full while honorably saying that he would decline to take any increase in this term of office, de Blasio sent the issue to the Council for legislative action.
With some members pressing to raise their salaries by more than 70% to an astonishing $192,000 from $112,500, deliberations ran haywire.
More sensibly, the commission had recommended an inflation-based 15% raise, plus a $8,940 annual bonus to compensate for eliminating extra stipends, called lulus, that have been dispensed to loyalists by the speaker.
The bonus equaled the Council’s average annual lulu. So the members would get their raises without losing a penny of income.
It all totaled to a 23% increase to an annual salary of $138,315, retroactive to Jan. 1.
But, behind closed doors, members screamed that they wanted more. So, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito larded on an additional $10,185, bringing the salary to $148,500 and busting de Blasio’s 27% pattern with a 32% bonanza.
Reaching desperately for a justification, Mark-Viverito & Co. point to new rules against outside income — never mind that only three members have outside income and they get to keep it.
De Blasio said that he would sign the bill on Friday, citing the the Council’s reforms. He is paying too dearly. He is buying the members’ favor. And he is telling cops, who get paid less than half a council member’s salary, that they are second-class heroes.