January 27, 2006
To the Editor: Richard Steier was correct in writing in his “Razzle Dazzle” column Jan. 20 that the “city’s unwillingness to pay more for a presumably better-qualified officer exposes the hypocrisy of both Rudy Giuliani and Mayor Bloomberg in saying they were willing to reward measurable productivity.” But that hypocrisy is even more evident in the refusal to pay for the productivity gains made by the NYPD in doing more work with thousands fewer police officers.
When the Mayor and his staff speak of “productivity gains,” they don’t mean doing more with less. They are not talking about performance excellence or efficiency. They are talking about reducing benefits, trading time off for money or the giving up of hard-won rights that were bought and paid for in previous contracts.
Furthermore, to set the record straight, this PBA administration has sought education pay for our members in each of the last two rounds, but the city’s response is to reduce any wage increase by the value of the educational benefit. In effect, the city has asked us to pay for the benefit of the work force being better educated. That makes no sense.
In a similar vein, we have sought payment for all the anti-terrorism responsibilities we have taken on since 9/11 and for many other skills and special demands that are associated with police work.
In any event, regardless of what you call it, police officers need to be better compensated. It’s time for the city to come to the negotiating table with a realistic compensation package that will put New York City’s police officers’ pay on par with neighboring departments. That’s what the Taylor Law calls for, and that’s what the city should do.
PATRICK J. LYNCH
President, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association