January 10, 2008
The PERB hearings are coming to an end on Friday, January 11th. In this round, the PBA has put forward its most comprehensive, detailed and factual presentation to date. Not only have we put on evidence that showed that New York City police officers were substantially underpaid by any standard, at a time of unprecedented financial prosperity in this City, we have also shown that New York City police officers have education, training, skills and job responsibilities that distinguish them from other uniformed City employees. Extensive data put into evidence by the PBA showed that NO uniformed group is in the same competitive position as police officers versus their counterparts in other jurisdictions. In fact, every other City uniform group is paid more that the average of their counterparts in other jurisdictions. It was shown definitively that NYC police officers are dead last in terms of compensation and even when you consider the pension and health benefits put forward by the City as superior to those of other jurisdiction, but which are not, New York City police officers are substantially underpaid.
With respect to our performance and productivity, we have shown that we continue to be the most productive of City agencies at a time where we are down over 5,000 UMOS and the Department cannot recruit and retain enough to fill our thinning ranks. While we continue to achieve unparalleled crime fighting gains and continue to put forth Herculean efforts in our non-crime responsibilities, areas within the NYPD’s mission have been increasingly unaddressed because of what the PBA and City Council members have characterized as a staffing “crisis” within the NYPD. Despite claims by the NYPD’s Personnel Chief that inability to recruit in the NYPD is attributable to the lowered starting salaries, which he himself bears responsibility for as a result of his testimony in the last round, he was proven to have absolutely no basis to make that claim and the Department’s own surveys of candidates and resignees show that top salary is the most important factor in deciding whether to take a job at the NYPD.
Finally, we put in overwhelming proof that residents of the city of New York from all communities, as well as academics and police professionals alike, have serious concerns about the salaries of New York City police officers and are supportive of raises that pay us as police professionals.
After the close of the hearings, the parties will prepare briefs summarizing the evidence for the panel. We expect a decision thereafter.
We are in the process of preparing additional detailed summaries of the hearing transcripts, which are voluminous in this round as a result of extensive cross-examination of City witnesses, and will publish them as they become available.
We appreciate your continuing support and we share your hope and expectation that the panel will render an award that comports with the overwhelming evidence that favors the PBA’s position.
Patrick J. Lynch
PERB Hearing Dates: Click on the dates with links for accounts of testimony provided on those days.