New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is currently locked in a stalemate with one of the city’s top police unions as the two sides work to hash out a new contract.
The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA), which represents 23,800 New York City police officers, has asked the New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) to declare an impasse, which would allow the PBA to enter into binding arbitration.
“We would like nothing better than to reach an agreement at the bargaining table as we have done in past rounds, including the last one,” Patrick Lynch, president of the PBA, said in a statement. “But so far City Hall has refused to engage in any meaningful discussion, other than to say they have a ‘fundamental disagreement’ with the idea that police officers should be paid a fair market wage.”
Lynch is concerned that without arbitration the city will pursue a lesser deal with one of the city’s smaller police unions, which could then be used as a template for the rest of the unions.
The PBA has been unhappy with recently negotiated contracts, according to New York Daily News. It was reportedly “furious” with the results of its last arbitration case, which increased pay raises for officers by 1 percent for each of the two years.
The city responded by expressing its strong disagreement with the PBA’s filing.
“I think it is ridiculously premature for the PBA to be filing for impasse with PERB,” Labor Commissioner Robert Linn said. “We have had a total of two negotiating sessions and the union has not even responded in person to the city’s proposals.”
Mayor de Blasio has angered police officers in the past, including most recently when he snubbed the vigil for a slain New York City police officer in July, although he attended the funeral. (RELATED: Police Union Slams de Blasio For Skipping Vigil Of Slain Officer In Favor Of Germany)
De Blasio’s poll numbers have plummeted ahead of his re-election bid in November. Despite the polling, he is still favored to win by a wide margin.
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