NYC’s De Blasio, Police Reach Deal to End 5-Year Contract Fight

  • Contract increases pay, provides compensation for years past
  • The deal clears a major hurdle in de Blasio’s reelection year

New York City and the union representing about 24,000 patrol officers reached a tentative $1.9 billion, five-year agreement that Mayor Bill de Blasio said was consistent with contracts reached with other city unions over the past three years while giving police an extra 2.25 percent bonus.

The deal, which continues through July 31, provides back pay and raises and ends a rancorous five-year period in which officers worked without a contract. It also increases first-year pay for officers to $42,500 from its current $41,975, reaching a maximum of salary of $85,292 over five-and-a-half years.

The new contract also offers increased benefits and 2.25 percent in “differential pay” in return for participating in what de Blasio dubbed his "community-policing program." It promises to equip all the city’s patrol officers with body cameras by 2019.

The protracted dispute over labor negotiations had thrust the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association into the role of chief antagonist to the mayor as he enters his reelection year. As recently as Jan. 24, after de Blasio presented his proposed 2018 budget, PBA President Patrick Lynch accused the mayor of providing “a few crumbs” to rank-and-file officers while ignoring their needs for more generous disability pay and wage parity with police in nearby jurisdictions.

“The agreement recognizes that neighborhood policing involves fundamental changes in the work of our officers,” de Blasio said during a City Hall news conference Tuesday, at which he praised the department for its role in reducing crime to record low levels. The “additional compensation is not only fair but it will help us achieve our goals.”

The contract provides 1 percent raises for 2012 and 2013; 1.5 percent raise for 2014; a 2.5 percent raise for 2015 and a 3 percent raise for 2016, continuing into 2017. The mayor said part of the contract’s $1.878 billion cost would be offset by $577 million in savings achieved by the union’s health plan.

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