Mayor Eric Adams and the city’s largest police union struck a tentative agreement that bumps new officers’ starting salaries by more than $12,000 amid dwindling recruitment numbers and departures on the force.
Adams and NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell joined union officials at City Hall on Wednesday to announce the new contract which gives rank-and-file cops their first raise in years.
“This is a historic deal,” Adams said during a press conference.
“It’s only the third voluntary contract with the [union] in 30 years [and it’s] one that we make sure our officers get the benefits and compensation they deserve.”
The eight-year agreement — which is retroactive to August 2017 and must be approved by the Police Benevolent Association’s 23,000 members — would start rookie cops off at about $55,000, the city said in a press release.
The $5.5 billion-dollar deal would also give officers a 3.5% raise this August and a 4% raise next August, on top of back pay for the six years they worked without a contract:
Cops will also get back pay for the out-of-contract years:
The pay boosts could help buoy a department that has struggled to attract and retain cops over the last several years. Many have argued the departures were due to the low salaries at the NYPD compared to agencies in surrounding towns and cities.
PBA President Patrick Lynch said the city had already lost “far too many talented cops to better paying and less stressful policing jobs” in other departments.
“This agreement is not only a major step toward closing our pay gap relative to other police departments — it also significantly improves our members’ quality of life,” Lynch said.
The contract could also mean big changes to cops’ schedules. The NYPD will create a pilot program at two Bronx precincts to test how officers respond to workdays of either 10 or 12 hours — with longer weekends in between.
The city claims this will boost morale and give the department “greater flexibility to increase staffing during times when crime is highest.”
“This agreement achieves a better work schedule for our officers, more family time and a better quality of life,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said.
“It enhances deployment flexibility for the department and allows the NYPD to compete with the private sector and other agencies to recruit the best to join the finest. The people of the city deserve nothing less.”
Lynch agreed, saying Wednesday morning that the schedule would allow his members to “decompress.”
“Yes, the money is always the most important,” Lynch said.
“But we also wanted them to be able to … to get home to their families.”
The commissioner did not answer a question about how the scheduling change would affect the NYPD’s ballooning overtime costs, however.
Union delegates will vote on the contract Wednesday. The rank-and-file will sign off Monday.