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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Award Raises Starting Salaries by Over $10,000

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced today that a Public Employees Relations Board (PERB) Impasse Panel has issued an award covering over 23,000 Police Officers represented by the Patrolmens Benevolent Association (PBA). The Mayor also announced that the Citys arbitrator concurred with the panels award while the PBA did not.  This award covers a two-year period from August 1, 2004 through July 31, 2006 and raises starting salaries from $25,100 to $35,881 while funding raises for all Police Officers of 4.5% and 5%, predominantly by adding the pattern for the corresponding time period with substantial givebacks by the PBA. The basic maximum salary for a Police Officer will increase from the current $59,588 to $65,382 by the end of the contract. The general salary increase totals 9.73% when compounded, and the cost of enhancing the salary schedule for new hires is an additional .49%. These are offset by givebacks and productivity increases that total 2.81% for a net cost of 7.41%. The pattern for this period was 6.24%, which means the arbitrator created a 1.16% uniform differential for this round of bargaining.  (While the numbers above appear to net to a 1.17% uniform differential because of rounding, the uniform differential is actually 1.16%.)
 This award goes a long way in addressing our concerns with the current starting salary for Police Officers, said Mayor Bloomberg. It also gives our dedicated and hardworking Police Officers much deserved raises. At the same time, the award provides savings through internal givebacks to best preserve the Citys financial position going forward. Funding collective bargaining agreements through productivity improvements which create flexibility for management has been a cornerstone of this Administration.
The City took the unusual step of filing for impasse with the Patrolmens Benevolent Association on July 7, 2006 in an attempt to bring this contract to resolution. Beginning in November 2007, and continuing through January 2008, the three-person Impasse Panel held hearings over twelve days during which the City and the PBA each presented numerous witnesses and elicited voluminous testimony in support of their respective positions for a final and binding award to resolve the contract negotiations which had begun in August 2005. 
The principal features of this award include:
-      A new salary schedule for new hires that provides an enhanced hiring rate for time in the Police Academy. The new starting salary will be $35,881 for the next class entering the Academy.
-     4.5% increase on August 1, 2004, the first day of the contract, and another
5% increase, compounded, on August 1, 2005, the first day of the 13th month of the contract.
The salary schedule for Police Officers newly hired on or after 1/1/2006 will be modified as follows:
                                                         Current           1/1/2006
                        After 5.5 years           $59,588           $65,382
                        After 4.5 years           $44,100           $48,389
                        After 3.5 years           $41,500           $45,536
                        After 2.5 years           $38,000           $41,696
                        After 1.5 years           $34,000           $37,307
                        After 6 months           $32,700           $35,881
                        Academy rate             $25,100           $35,881
The salary schedule for Police Officers hired prior to 1/1/2006 will be as follows:
                                                          Current           8/1/2004      8/1/2005         
                        6th year                      $59,588           $62,269       $65,382          
                        5th year                      $47,526           $49,665       $52,148          
                        4th year                      $46,240           $48,321       $50,737          
                        3rd year                      $44,145           $46,132       $48,439          
                        2nd year                      $42,648           $44,567      $46,795          
                        1st year                       $40,658           $42,488      $44,612          
The award contains important givebacks and productivity savings of 2.81% that will provide significant funding sources to offset the costs of these increases going forward. They include the following items:
-      Reduction of ten (10) annual leave days for new hires for each of the first five (5) years of employment. New recruits will receive 10 annual leave days in addition to their 18 chart days off.
-      Modifying the current six (6) named rescheduling days for all employees without the payment of overtime in accordance with Detective Rules which provides for greater flexibility in scheduling and will save the City overtime.
-      Range Day (firearms qualification) to be held on an annual leave day for all employees which means each police officer will work one more day in their assignment.
-      Five (5) additional rescheduling days for all employees without the payment of pre-tour or post-tour overtime upon 24-hours notice to the employee.  Presently, the Police Department has the right to reschedule employees on fifteen (15) such occasions. Going forward, twenty (20) such opportunities will be available for use by the Police Department. Rescheduling days allow the Police Department optimal flexibility to assign employees without the payment of overtime.
In this round, the arbitrator reinstated the concept of a uniformed differential of 1.16% which is similar to, and consistent with, those that had been established in previous and subsequent rounds.  The City will spend approximately $50 million annually more than was forecast for the PBA and approximately $135 million more for the uniformed services from FY 2005 to FY 2008 provided that the other uniform unions agree to corresponding givebacks and comply with re-opener provisions in their contract agreements.
Our Police Officers unwavering dedication to duty, their commitment to facing any challenges, and their resolute approach to performing their jobs in a professional manner have helped the City of New York maintain its preeminent place among the worlds largest and safest cities.  Because of this decision, we will be able to provide enhanced service to the public through the more efficient deployment of our police officers. As we have said all along, New Yorkers deserve a well-managed City government, and our City employees deserve and expect fair compensation.  I would have preferred to negotiate a settlement with the PBA as we have with all other uniformed unions for this period since a negotiated settlement is always more desirable, but that requires both sides to come to the table, said Mayor Bloomberg.

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