New York Daily News

August 2, 2016, 8:58 AM



Cops get in Mayor de Blasio's face to demand wage hike, shadowing him at Gracie Mansion, Brooklyn YMCA and café


Many of the PBA protesters had just wrapped up an overnight shift, said union boss Pat Lynch. (ANTHONY DELMUNDO/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

The NYPD put a Tuesday morning tail on Mayor de Blasio, shadowing Hizzoner from Gracie Mansion to the Park Slope YMCA in a protest for better pay.

“Pay us now, work out later,” the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association protestors chanted as the mayor arrived in Brooklyn for his daily fitness routine.

The demonstration started with about 40 union cops greeting the mayor outside his Upper East Side residence.

De Blasio left Gracie Mansion in his SUV at 7:45 a.m., driving past the cops who stood silently while holding signs: “Get to work Mayor de Blasio & pay cops a fair wage.”

Another 50 cops were standing outside the Park Slope YMCA on Ninth St. as de Blasio arrived for his workout. The mayor left after the picketers cleared out, and he ignored questions from reporters.

Lynch (c.) speaks to reporters as PBA members protest outside the Prospect Park YMCA where Mayor Bill de Blasio works out. (ANTHONY DELMUNDO/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

But City Hall said later that said the mayor was open to negotiating a new long-term deal with the cops.

PBA President Pat Lynch said most of the police protestors came directly from finishing their night shifts.

“For two years we tried to sit at the negotiating table and bargain with Mayor de Blasio and he refused to do it,” Lynch said outside of Gracie Mansion. “So now unfortunately, we're out in the street because we want him to hear our message.

“We want him to support New York City police officers, pay us as professionals, staff us properly and equip us so we can protect ourselves and protect the public as well. He's refused to do that."

PBA members say the NYPD is among the worst paid forces in the country, though city officials disagree. (MARCUS SANTOS)

Lynch said his members will continue to protest until “he hears our message and sits down to negotiate with us.”

Though Lynch claimed the lack of support from City Hall was reflected by spikes in certain crimes, rhe latest NYPD statistics indicate the department continues to keep citywide crime at historic low levels.

Murders through July 31 were at 192 in 2016, down from 205 for the same stretch last year — a drop of 5.8%.

Shootings were down 20%, from 665 last year to 531 so far in 2016. And overall felony crime was down 1% through the first seven months of 2016 compared to 2015.

A truck part of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association's protest outside Gracie Mansion. (MARCUS SANTOS)

The cops claim the NYPD employs some of the lowest paid officers in the country. At least one of them pointed out that the NYPD were among the highest paid cops in the nation when the department was mostly white.

Now that it’s more diverse, the officers make significantly less, according to a protestor holding a massive 4-foot sign depicting mostly white cops reading, “When cops looked like this they were highest paid force in the country. And they remained among the highest paid until at least 1975."

In June, the PBA asked for an arbitrator to intervene on salary negotiations, telling the New York State Public Employment Relations Board that the contract talks were “deadlocked.”

Last year, an arbitrator jointly selected by the PBA and the city ruled in favor of the city during a bitterly contentious contract negotiation.

The mayor's vehicle in front of protesters at Gracie Mansion. (MARCUS SANTOS)

Lynch then repeatedly attacked the arbitrator, Howard Edelman, and accused him of ethics violations. He even sent off-duty officers to protest outside Edelman’s house.

The PBA is also spending more than $1 million on a commercial campaign, depicting police families who can’t make ends meet on a NYPD salary.

City officials have repeatedly disputed the PBA’s claims, saying that, including benefits, city cops earn 146% of the average salary for police in large U.S. cities.

And City Hall asserts the average salary of city cops was $83,976 as of June 2015, or about 11% higher than in cities like Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Washington.