Hundreds of NYPD officers rally against 1 percent raises in new agreement
About 1,000 union members shouted across the street from the Upper East Side home of the negotiation's lead arbitrator Howard Edelman.
Shouts and chants from about 1,000 members and supporters of the city's largest police union boomed down York Avenue in Manhattan on Thursday morning.
Signs peppered down the block bemoaned 15 percent raises for fast-food workers, asked Upper East Siders who they'd call "when crime goes up" and attacked Mayor Bill de Blasio.
"De Blasio sucks" chants were squeezed between others that included," Raise our wage," and, "Our lives matter," as bus operators, sanitation workers and ambulance drivers blasted their horns and sirens in solidarity.
Led by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch, the firebrand union chief batted away questions of a slowdown while emphasizing how disappointed he was with the latest news over their stalled contract negotiations.
"We going to continue to show how insulted and demoralized the New York City Police Department is," Lynch told Metro. "We want this arbitrator to do his job like New York City police officers do each and every day."
The arbitrator in question, Howard Edelman, was brought by the state to lead a panel to help settle a new contract for the PBA's members after the last expired in 2010.
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Metro was unable to reach Edelman for comment, and it was unclear if he was at the Upper East Side apartment.
The PBA opted to go into arbitration after hitting a wall with the de Blasio administration and the formula it devised to address seven year's worth of back pay and raises. A draft agreement circulated earlier on Nov. 2 would give the PBA's 24,000 members retroactive raises of 1 percent covering two years.
The PBA is the only one of the city's four police unions to reject the administration's rubric.
One 26-year-old PBA member who only identified himself as Chris told Metro he hadn't seen anything like Thursday's rally before. Their endgame, he said, was a salary that a working man or woman can take care of a family with.
"With rents, you can't even afford to save for down payment on a house these days," he said, adding he joined the force two years ago. "The city wants cops in the neighborhoods, and it needs cops in the neighborhoods.
On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio declined to comment on reports of the draft agreement.
"What I’ve said all along is I believe the pattern that we set for our uniformed services is fair," he told reporters. "And, obviously, the vast majority of the uniformed unions and their members thought it was fair, because they voted for it."