New York Daily News

Updated: November 28, 2017, 1:10 PM

  

 


Mediator brought in to help NYPD union, city reach new contract amid stalled talks

BY THOMAS TRACY

Contract negotiations between the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and the city have reached a standstill, according to the New York State Public Employment Relations Board.  (MICHAEL IP/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

The city and the NYPD’s biggest union will need some hand holding if they are going to agree on a new contract, state officials said Tuesday.

Contract negotiations between the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and the city have reached a standstill, according to the New York State Public Employment Relations Board, which has appointed a mediator to assist in further negotiations.

The board has asked William Conley, their Assistant Director of Conciliation, to negotiate a deal.

The PBA hailed the decision to appoint a mediator, saying that contract talks hit a brick wall over the summer about two weeks after the union contract expired.

The union and the city are fighting over a two-year contract spanning from Aug. 1 through July 31, 2019.

“We are pleased that (the board) has agreed with us that further negotiations with the city absent the assistance of a third party would be futile,” PBA President Pat Lynch said in a statement. “We welcome the appointment of a professional mediator to assist the parties reach a settlement that both recognizes the substantial contributions of police officers to the success of this city and the significant degree to which they are presently underpaid.”

The city offered a contract with no raises for 42 months for police officers, Lynch said.

“The city has employed all the delaying tactics at its disposal only to offer a package that provided no economic benefits for NYC police officers, who continue to keep the city safe and economically viable with 5,000 fewer police officers than in 2000,” Lynch said.

Mediation is the first step toward arbitration, which PBA President Pat Lynch has repeatedly requested during his 18 years as head of the union.  (BARRY WILLIAMS/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

City spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein said the Office of Labor Relations expects to be contacted by Conley shortly "so that we can begin the process of mediation."

Goldstein would not outline the city’s current contract for the NYPD, since negotiations are ongoing.

“We expect (the union) to find opportunities for savings throughout the negotiation process that will help offset the cost of the next contract,” Goldstein said.

Mediation is the first step of a long march toward binding arbitration, which Lynch has repeatedly requested during his 18 years as union president. Arbitration is costly and typically takes at least a year. 

While the PBA received favorable contracts in the past through binding arbitration, the union was furious with the outcome of its last contract arbitration case, which resulted in 1% raises for each of the two years. The award matched what other unions got over the same period.

Lynch argued that arbitrator Howard Edelman sold out the PBA in order to get more mediation business from the city. PBA members rallied outside Edelman's home as the union refused to pay his $115,000 bill.

The move angered other arbitrators, with 27 writing to the New York State Public Employment Relations Board asking to be excluded from any future PBA arbitration jobs.