September 26, 2016, 10:55 AM
BY MOLLY CRANE-NEWMAN, REUVEN BLAU
|Mayor de Blasio remained silent and smiled as he walked past the picketers into the gym on Ninth St. at around 9 a.m. (TODD MAISEL/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)|
Chanting “we want a new contract,” a group of off-duty city cops heckled Mayor de Blasio as he walked into the Park Slope YMCA for his morning workout Monday.
“We’re trying to get a contract for the men and women of the New York City Police Department,” said Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association First Vice President John Puglissi.
Hizzoner remained silent and smiled as he walked past the picketers into the gym on Ninth St. at around 9 a.m.
The PBA has refused to accept the 11-percent raise hikes over a seven year stretch issued to the city’s other uniformed labor groups. The city's largest police union has long argued that its members deserve to be paid as much as their counterparts in surrounding, more affluent jurisdictions.
On average, New York City cops are paid 30% less than police in 25 other major cities, according to the PBA.
|Mocking signs held by the officers display slogans including “Workout a contract with cops” and “Put some sweat into working on our PBA contract." (TODD MAISEL/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)|
“Zeroes and ones don't cut it. The hard work that they do, the effort that they put in — and we have a Mayor that’s unwilling to negotiate in good faith with us,” Puglissi said. “His philosophy of pattern bargaining, one-size-fits-all, doesn’t work for the police officers of New York City.”
PBA President Pat Lynch, who slammed the mayor at the last protest outside his gym, was not there on Monday.
The union has repeatedly sought to break the pay pattern by bringing its argument before an arbitrator.
But that process is lengthy and costly and only covers a two-year period unless both sides agree to have it extended.
|The PBA wants a mediator to intervene in the contract-making process. (TODD MAISEL/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)|
In June, the PBA once again asked for the state’s Public Employment Relations Board to declare an impasse, the first step in the arbitration process.
The Monday protest is the second time the PBA has hounded the mayor during his workout in Park Slope. The union last month sent members to rally outside the gym to demand better pay.
On Monday, disgruntled picketers carrying signs reading, “Workout a contract with cops” and “Put some sweat into working on our PBA contract” gathered in a pen outside the entrance to the gym at 7 a.m.
“We want a new contract!” protestors chanted at the mayor as he approached the gym two hours later.
Early rising gym-goers and employees at the Prospect Park YMCA expressed frustration with the scene outside, with several saying they wished de Blasio would just buy a treadmill for Gracie Mansion.
“He really needs to stop coming here,” fumed one gym member, who did not wish to be named.
Not all were annoyed.
“I’ve been a member of the gym for years, and I've seen de Blasio since before he was the mayor getting his dry cleaners up the block and going to the Y. I love it, honestly, I don’t have any problem with it,” said Stephen Negron.
“I don’t think the security is so tight to the point where people are uncomfortable. I think that’s really humble of him, he’s not going to some super, super, super, upscale exclusive gym. Now that he's mayor, he's keeping it humble and he's keeping it traditional. The southwest Brooklyn way.”