Politico New York

5:29 a.m. | Mar. 25, 2016


PBA mailer urges support for increase in benefits for injured officers

By AZI PAYBARAH

The mailer (PBA)  

Starting today, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association is sending 10,000 mailers to progressive and labor-friendly households in 65 Assembly districts throughout New York City, urging recipients to push their representatives to support a Senate-backed bill that would boost disability benefits for police officers injured on the job.

Officers injured on the job can, in some instances, earn “as little as $40 a day,” according to the mailers, a copy of which was shared with POLITICO New York. “It’s time to support them like they support us.”

"The goal of this mailer is simple: to inform New Yorkers of this unjust and inadequate disability benefit, and enlist them to call on their state legislators to correct it," PBA president Patrick Lynch said in a statement. "The police officers who protect our city — risking their lives every day out on the street — should not fear that if they are injured on the job they won’t be able to support their families.”

The mailers are the latest campaign in the union’s long-running effort to boost benefits for injured officers.

In 2009, then-Gov. David Paterson signed into a law a bill reducing injury benefits for new hires in the uniformed services, citing the need to save money because the financial crisis. Since then, union leaders representing police and firefighters have sought to restore those benefits.

Earlier this month, the PBA released results of an online survey from 6,000 of its 24,000 active members, indicating low morale among the members and that they were dissatisfied with their current compensation package and benefits.

More recently, that effort has been swept up in the fight between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Though he sought to cut pension costs in 2012, Cuomo announced last year that he supported an increase in benefits for injured uniformed workers. That put him at odds with de Blasio, whose administration would have to cover the costs. De Blasio, who has clashed with the PBA leadership over a variety of police-related matters, opposed the move, calling to too expensive. He has offered a less-generous increase.

The bill preferred by the PBA is S6405B. It was amended March 12 and is currently before the Senate Finance Committee.