January 11, 2008
The hearings before the PERB panel that will decide our 2004/06 contract ended Friday, January 11th. The record will remain open temporarily for the submission of additional documentation while the parties simultaneously prepare and file final briefs. The chairperson has set February 11th as the deadline for the submission of written closing briefs from both sides and March 3rd as the deadline for the responses to those briefs. Once they are submitted, the panel will consider the voluminous testimony taken over the twelve days of hearings along with the evidence submitted and the closing briefs and will begin the deliberation process that results in an award.
This round has had its own special challenges because of the various schemes and artifices created by the City to divert the panel’s attention from the fundamental issue in the case — the woefully inadequate compensation of New York City police officers. Even as the case wound to its conclusion, the City manufactured new arguments, offered new “evidence,” modified old events to fit current positions, and even picked up assists from so-called independent agencies. (You will hear more about this in future communications.) All this material had to be addressed and City witnesses, including those who were simply sent before the panel by the City with prepared statements that could hurt our case, like our own Department officials, had to be unmasked. The process was painstaking, required comprehensive and detailed preparations and took time for lengthy cross examinations. At the same time, those who supported our case with testimony, and there were many in this round, had to be readied for their own testimony and cross examination.
The result of our efforts is that we believe the record is decidedly in our favor, exactly where we need to be going into this phase of the proceeding. The case is now in the hands of the arbitration panel. Over the coming weeks, we will reduce to writing in the form of briefs all of the material developed in the record in the PBA’s favor and all that evidence undermining the City’s position and argue for an award of substantial pay increases that will help bring us to a market compensation scheme.
Our expectation is that we will continue to provide detailed narratives of the proceedings on the web site, supplemented by topical pieces about certain subject matters presented in the proceeding. In addition, our intention is to provide in the future an in-depth newsletter highlighting witness testimony in the proceeding. Given the nature of this proceeding, each day of testimony has generated hundreds of pages of transcripts, which must be boiled down to a synopsis that is brief and that will be of value to our members. A synopsis of the first several days of testimony are available on our website.
We appreciate your continued support as we go into the final stage of this process.
Patrick J. Lynch
PERB Hearing Dates: Click on the dates with links for accounts of testimony provided on those days.