New York City’s 24,000 police officers are outraged by the provisions of a “draft” award circulated by the state’s Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) in which the chairman, Howard Edelman, writes that NYC police officers should be paid at levels “...befitting the nation’s premier police force” and recognizes that they earn on average substantially less than other local police officers, and then awards them only 1% in each of two years.
PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said:
“Our members were furious when informed of the contents of this draft award. Mr. Edelman gives them lip service with flowering admiration for the job they do. But then he misinterprets the Taylor Law and ignores the voluminous evidence in the proceeding. The Taylor Law provides clear and unambiguous direction that has been followed by previous PERB arbitrators to set a fair wage by comparing wages of ‘…other employees performing similar services or requiring similar skills under similar working conditions…in comparable communities.’ In a clear and intentional misinterpretation of those provisions, he simply parroted the city’s position and awarded New York City police officers the same amounts that were negotiated by certain uniformed superior officers’ titles.”
“Buying into the city’s gambit that one union — the first to sign a contract — sets the pattern for all other unions, as this chairman did, is in direct defiance of the intent and provisions of the Taylor Law. At a time when police morale is the lowest ever and misdirected anti-police sentiment pervades our streets emboldening the criminal element, this arbitration decision flouts the Taylor Law’s provisions and denies New York City’s police officers the fair pay that they have earned and deserve. In the view of the PBA, the decision is neither ‘just’ nor ‘reasonable’ as the Taylor Law requires. It is riddled with errors and reflects a lack of thought or effort on the part of the arbitrator. Our members are justifiably outraged by this draft decision and intend to make their outrage heard and felt.”