NYPD rank and file cops by a near-unanimous vote ratified Monday a new labor contract that would effectively hike starting salaries by nearly 30% and implement new staggered work schedules designed to cut down the need for overtime and improve quality of life for officers, officials said.
By a vote of 17,921 to 423, members of the Police Benevolent Association who filed ballots passed the eight-year pact, which is retroactive to 2017 and ends in mid-2025, according to the union.
The final tally represented 97.69% of the 18,519 votes cast, said a PBA spokesman in a statement. Some 21,861 ballots were originally sent out as a prelude to electronic voting, according to the union. Some members apparently elected not to vote.
After years of an impasse during the DeBlasio administration, PBA president Patrick Lynch and Mayor Eric Adams hammered out an agreement that is seen as aiming to improve the ability of the NYPD to retain officers and improve officer morale at a time when the department has been losing personnel through retirement and resignations.
“I want to thank each and every one of you who cast your ballot in support of this contract,” Lynch said in the statement to rank and file cops. “The record-breaking vote proves our union’s strength and solidarity.”
Lynch, 59, announced earlier that he was retiring from his union presidency by the end of June, at which point his successor would be picked in an election. The contract is seen as his final accomplishment for a two-decade long career at the top of the nation’s largest police union.
One groundbreaking provision in the contract is the pilot program for 10- and 12-hour work days designed to give cops longer stretches of time off and cut down on overtime. The pilot program will take place in two Bronx precincts and two other Bronx commands, said NYPD commissioner Keechant Sewell.
The proposed starting salary increase to $55,000 from $42,000 for NYPD officers, coupled with higher basic maximums of $131,500 after 5½ years with various allowances, is viewed as an incentive for cops to stay with the department, some rank and file officers have said.
After the number of uniformed NYPD officers on the force reached 36,000 in 2016, the numbers declined, reaching about 33,800 this month, although a new class of some 538 officers graduated Monday from the police academy and will hit the street within days.