From the Wall Street Journal coverage:
Scores of New York City police officers rallied on the steps of City Hall on Wednesday, holding up signs and orange foam fingers that said “LIAR,” to mark a year since they’ve been working without a contract.
The rally, organized by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, targeted Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat and frequent foe of the union, which represents 24,000 current police officers. Their last contract expired July 31, 2017, and the PBA is currently in arbitration with the city over a new labor agreement.
The demonstration outside City Hall was the union’s latest effort to draw attention to the expired contract. Labor leaders have also organized protests outside Mr. de Blasio’s gym and favorite bakery in Park Slope and at Gracie Mansion. A truck parked outside City Hall with a photo of the mayor in bed urged him to “wake up” and “do your job” to settle the contract. The vehicle had also circled around a Manhattan courthouse where the mayor had jury duty on Wednesday.
The PBA also planned to send a group of police officers to New Orleans this weekend, where the mayor plans to attend a conference for progressive leaders and activists, a union official said.
The PBA Press Release:
August 1st marks exactly one year since the expiration of the NYC PBA’s most recent contract, leading union members to turn out at City Hall to give Mayor de Blasio a “wake up call” to get engaged in the contract process. New York City police officers are already underpaid by 30% or more in comparison to the average for other police officers in the NYC area and other major cities around the country. Today’s press conference is part of a renewed, multi-faceted campaign effort by the PBA to hold de Blasio accountable for his inaction.
PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said:
“Only seven months after starting his final term in office, and Mayor de Blasio is already checked out. We have been out of contract for a year and bargaining for even longer, and all we have seen from Mayor de Blasio’s team are delaying tactics, unreasonable demands and a complete unwillingness to engage in the process. Underpaying police officers hurts our ability to retain and recruit the Finest, and ultimately has a negative impact on public safety. That should be a serious concern for our Mayor, but he is clearly not focused on running the city. Instead, he’s focused on raising money so that he can fly off to places like New Orleans and further his own political ambitions. That’s not the job he was elected to do. New York City police officers show up and do our jobs every single day, because that’s what New Yorkers expect of us. It’s time for Mayor de Blasio to start doing the same.”
The NYC PBA’s most recent contract, which was retroactive to 2012, expired on August 1 of last year. In April, following months of increasingly unreasonable demands on the part of the City, the NYC PBA entered the arbitration process with the New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB).
Unfortunately for the PBA, DC 37 has already settled a contract that sets a pattern for civilian city employees of 7.25% salary increases over 44 months. de Blasio has been stalling with the cops so they would have that pattern set. Labor settlements are done through pattern bargaining. One union settles on a contract with the city with a certain percentage salary increase and the rest receive the same basic settlement. Arbitration panels have upheld pattern bargaining on numerous occasions. Although the police are a uniform union, traditionally uniform unions receive about 1% or so more than civilians. The Mayor is probably delaying now so he can settle with a different uniform union first to completely trap the PBA.
My strategy, already impossible for this round of collective bargaining in NYC, would be for all of the city unions to wait it out and let the PBA settle first since they earn 29% less than police in the surrounding areas. They have a great pay parity argument. If they received anything close to that, the rest of us could go in and say, "Me too," as there would be a pattern. City Hall can count on a weak union such as the UFT or DC 37 to settle first to set the pattern that other unions are stuck with.
The PBA also reported that 100% of their officers are in the union.
From the Chief Leader:
PBA president Patrick J. Lynch said: “Every NYC police officer, including the recently-hired class, is a member of this proud and strong organization. Those who take on the challenge of law enforcement recognize that the protection afforded by a strong, active police union is essential to their safety and survival on the job.”
The Corrections officers also have 100% of new hires in their union according to the Chief. The difference between the PBA and UFT is not that Pat Lynch has such wonderful negotiating skills at the bargaining table. The PBA does no better than us because of pattern bargaining. However, whether you love, hate or are indifferent about the police, when it comes to union the PBA has their officers' backs and officers know it.
Sadly, I cannot make that statement about the UFT but I don't believe massive people dropping out will improve that situation. Let's fix the union; not try to mortally wound it!