Upd. Jan. 31, 2017 | 3:00pm   


PBA, City Hall reach tentative labor agreement

By Tina Moore, Shawn Cohen, Michael Gartland and Yoav Gonen

Christopher Sandowski

The city’s largest police union has finally reached a contract settlement, ending five years of negotiations that turned ugly under Mayor de Blasio, officials said Tuesday.

The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association landed a slightly better salary deal than other municipal workers — or a total of 11 percent in retroactive raises since 2010, compared to the others’ 10 percent, union sources said.

PBA members also will get a bonus for working patrol while wearing body cams under the tentative contract, officials said.

They will receive a salary incentive of 2.25 percent, the mayor said, noting that all of the PBA’s members on patrols will be wearing body cameras by the end of 2019.

“We’re clearly asking officers to learn a new way of doing work and to adjust to a technology and a level of transparency” that they haven’t to before, the mayor said, suggesting that the pay differential was at least partly offered to make the body-cams more palatable to some cops.

Salaries for the 23,810 members of the PBA also would be increased retroactively between 2012 and 2016: 1 percent for each of 2012 and 2013, then 1.5 percent for 2014, 2.5 percent for 2015, 3 percent for 2016.

The officers were previously awarded a 1 percent increase for each of 2010 and 2011 by a state arbitration panel in 2015, making their total retroactive pay hike 11 percent over the past seven years, union officials noted.

The patrol bonus would be funded with cuts to the salaries for new hires, de Blasio said.

The proposed new salary ladder would be: in the first year, $42,500; after 1.5 years, $45,000; after 2.5 years, $46,000; after 3.5 years, $47,000; after 4.5 years, $51,000, and after 5.5 years, $85,292.

But both the city and PBA agreed to push state legislators to restore newly hired cops’ potential disability pay to three-quarters of their final year’s salary instead of the current 50 percent.

Part of the giveback for members would be a 1 percent employee contribution into disability benefits, officials said.

The cops have been working without a contract since 2012.

“It is a fair agreement for our officers and for our taxpayers alike,” de Blasio said. “This settlement is consistent with all of the city labor agreements that have been reached in this round.”

One the proposed pact is ratified, “The city will have active labor agreements with over 99 percent of our workforce,” the mayor said.

PBA President Pat Lynch added, “It’s our job to make sure we’re standing up for our members.

“Sometimes we do that by agreeing [with the mayor], sometimes we disagree, sometimes we shake hands, sometimes we poke at each other.

“But the mission is to get to where police officers feel respected, they’re treated as professionals, they’re paid as professionals — that’s what we’ve done today.”

Asked what finally led to a settlement, Lynch said, “Just a willingness to continue talking.”

Still, Lynch refused to say whether the PBA will endorse de Blasio in his re-election bid this year.

“When that time comes, we’ll look at all the candidates that are involved and we’ll make a decision, not before,” he said after the press conference.

The majority of the city’s municipal unions have received 10 percent raises over seven years and a $1,000 ratification bonus.

The executive board for the police union voted unanimously Tuesday to send the proposed pact to its “contract committee,’’ which will then decide on whether to put it out to the masses for ratification, sources said. But the move is strictly a formality, and the contract will go up for a vote among the rank and file, a source said.

A source said the tentative settlement was helped along by the fact that the mayor has been under recent heavy fire over issues such as the city’s child-welfare agency.

“He’s been getting beat up too much. He didn’t want to face it going into the election year,’’ a source said.

But another source said that whatever the officers get, it won’t be enough.

“The mayor threw crumbs to the police, who’ve done a great job for him and his political future, and he did it for political expediency, not because it was from his heart and soul and not because he feels the police deserve a raise,” the law-enforcement source said.

Hizzoner’s relationship with the cops and the powerful union has been troubled at best.

PBA leadership has long accused de Blasio of promoting so-called anti-cop policies — including making sweeping reforms to the NYPD’s stop-and frisk tactics. It claimed that he had “blood” on his “hands” after the December 2014 death of two Brooklyn police officers.

The police union had staged plenty of protests against the mayor over its lack of a contract, including noisy rallies outside Gracie Mansion and the Park Slope YMCA in Brooklyn that de Blasio regularly works out.

The PBA released a TV ad last year demanding more pay against the backdrop of a recent terror bombing in Chelsea in Manhattan.

The city had previously offered the PBA 9 percent raises retroactive for time worked from August 2012 to July 2017,according to sources.

Richard Flanagan, a College of Staten Island political science professor, agreed that the contract was a classic election-year move for the mayor and a way for him to protect his right flank in the age of Trump.

“He’s trying to wrap up all these contracts to scare off potential challengers like [city Comptroller] Scott Stringer,” Flanagan said.

There’s also the concern that increased civil unrest in the city under Trump could become a problem for the mayor if he isn’t on the same page with the PBA.

“Keeping the cops happy protects de Blasio from attacks on the right. If you’re mayor, you don’t want Chicago ’68,” he said, referring to that city’s violent political turmoil at the time.

Top political consultant George Arzt added, “it’s an election year. and an election year can impact every decision that’s coming down.

“The political calendar determines many things at this point. Who needs to go through an election year with an unhappy police force? For the mayor to have a happy police force is everything.”

Additional reporting by Rich Calder and Larry Celona