Staten Island Advance
 updated April 12, 2016 at 11:34 AM


Union: 'Racial diversity' linked to low pay in NYPD

By Maura Grunlund | grunlund@siadvance.com 

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (above and below)
The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association is taking aim at Mayor Bill de Blasio in a campaign that links "racial diversity" on the force to low pay. A vintage photo, above, showing all white NYPD officers is contrasted with current-day picture, below, of officers of various ethnicities on a mailer calling for salary increases.

TEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association is taking aim at Mayor Bill de Blasio in a campaign that links "racial diversity" on the force to low pay.

A union mailer that is being distributed to homes and transportation hubs this week is part of the PBA's quest for what it considers fair pay and adequate disability benefits for officers.

"Tell Mayor de Blasio to end income inequality in his own police force and give our cops a fair day's pay," the mailer says.

The mayor, who has spoken out against income inequality, "needs to look at the injustice that's happening in his own police department because, right now, we can't afford to live in many of the communities we patrol," said PBA president Patrick J. Lynch.

"New York City police officers used to be the highest paid in the nation," Lynch said. "Now we're falling farther behind other officers in the New York City area and across the country. What's especially troubling is the NYPD has become a more diverse department, but the gap in pay has only grown wider. This needs to be fixed, and it needs to be fixed now." 

Pictures and messages in the mailer compare the racial makeup of the force between 1975 and 2016.

"When NYC cops all looked like this, they were the highest paid force in the country," says a message accompanying a photo of all white cops. "And they remained among the highest paid until at least 1975."

A current photo showing cops from a variety of ethnicities states, "Now that NYC cops look like this, we are among the lowest paid police officers in the country.

"53% of the latest class of officers are people of color. But on average they'll make 34% less than cops both locally and nationwide. 

"How's that for inequality?"

The mailer is being sent to 35,000 "progressive households" in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.