Bay Ridge

Pols support cops in fight over pay raise

November 13, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
State Sen. Marty Golden (right), pictured with PBA President Patrick Lynch at a 2012 event, says the arbitrator’s ruling will damage police morale. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas
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The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) is angry over an arbitrator’s decision to give cops a 1 percent raise in pay.

But the PBA isn’t alone in its fight to win higher salaries for the men and women walking the beat.

The effort is winning bipartisan support among elected officials in Bay Ridge.

Both Democratic Councilmember Vincent Gentile and Republican state Sen. Marty Golden have issued strongly worded statements blasting arbitrator Howard Edelman’s recommendation.

“One percent. Apparently that’s what wealthy arbitrator Howard Edelman thinks the men and women who walk the thin blue line are worth. A 1 percent raise for any profession, let alone for a NYPD officer, is a slap in the face,” said Gentile, who is a former assistant district attorney.

Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-parts of Bensonhurst) called the 1 percent pay boost, “a complete joke” and said cops deserve a lot more.

Edelman, chairman of the Public Employment Relations Board, awarded retroactive raises for cops of 1 percent over each of the past two years.

Most uniformed workers in the city received 11 percent raises spread out over seven years, the New York Post reported.

Because of the draft ruling issued by arbitrator Edelman, only one of the two sides, either City Hall or the PBA, have to sign on to ensure that the ruling sticks.

Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-Southwest Brooklyn), who is a retired police officer, is also upset at Edelman’s decision.

“In answering the call to serve, countless men and women in blue put their lives at risk each and every day and for that, we can never pay them enough,” Golden said. “The draft plan for a 1 percent increase over two years is insulting and well below the rate of inflation in our region. If approved, this contract undoubtedly will fail to recognize the true sacrifice of our police officers, and along with a number of reforms, this will further damage the morale of those who protect us.”

Golden predicted that the salary structure would deter young people from joining the police force.

The starting salary for NYPD officers is $44,744 and the salary increases to an average of $76,602 after five years, the Daily News reported.

PBA President Pat Lynch said his members are furious with Edelman. Lynch charged that Edelman is flouting the Taylor Law, a state law that authorizes an arbitrator to settle contract disputes between public employees and government.

Officially known as the Public Employees Fair Employment Act, the Taylor Law was enacted in 1967 and is named after labor researcher George M. Taylor.

Under the Taylor Law, public employees are prohibited from going on strike.

“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,” Lynch said in a statement.

Cops recently took their anger right to Edelman’s doorstep. Hundreds of PBA members took part in a protest rally outside Edelman’s home on York Avenue, between East 63rd and 64th streets in Manhattan on Nov. 5.


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