New York City’s first cop-turned-mayor in nearly a century, Eric Adams, reached a long overdue labor contract with the Police Benevolent Association that will result in an average 3.2% wage increase over eight years.
But the announcement came just a day after Adams asked each agency to cut its budget by 4% in yet another round of cost savings. Adams preferred to frame it as “finding efficiencies,” and part of that, he said Wednesday, “is to make sure we are paying our public servants a respectable salary.” PBA President Patrick Lynch, who is facing a reelection challenge this year, has regularly blamed NYPD salaries – starting around $42,500 – as one reason for low morale and attrition.
Under the new contract, retroactive to 2017 and lasting through 2025, the starting salary will be around $55,000 a year. Adams praised the cops, saying they kept performing, making an increasing amount of felony arrests (the highest in more than 20 years) “in spite of not being what they should have been paid.”
Still, with the new contract, City Hall could be expected to allocate even more to the NYPD. The city said the new contract, if approved by members, would cost the city an additional $2 billion through fiscal year 2027, beyond what has already been allocated.
The city’s police spending is always closely watched, not just by progressives who want to reduce the agency’s size and scope, but by fiscal hawks, who note that the NYPD was one of only two agencies that didn’t meet Adams’ savings targets. The department also regularly outspends its overtime budget – which the City Council called out at a budget hearing last month. The contract includes a pilot program to implement longer shifts for officers, of 10 to 12 hours, which could decrease overtime spending in the future, if its adopted widely.
Adams’ executive budget for fiscal year 2024 is due before April 26.