Police Commissioner responds by saying he agrees that City should look at other markets to determine compensation
At today’s Public Safety Committee budget hearing, Police Commissioner James O’Neill was asked repeatedly whether New York City police officers are adequately compensated, whether they should be paid a market rate and whether the current pension benefits are equitable for all officers. Beginning with Public Safety Chair Donovan Richards, who asked about the disparity between the pay and pension benefits of the more diverse classes of police officers hired recently and those hired earlier, council members pressed for Commissioner O'Neill's thoughts on compensation for officers, pension inequities and morale. Commissioner O'Neill said at different points that he would like to see officers paid fairly and that he does not want to lose officers to neighboring communities after the NYPD spends six months training them.
PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said: “We have been saying for a long time that our men and women deserve to be paid a fair market wage. Our pay is falling further and further behind in comparison to other police officers, even those like the MTA Police, Port Authority Police and State Troopers who patrol in our own backyards. We want to thank the members of the City Council who stepped up to demand fair pay for our members. We look forward to working with the Council to push hard for fair compensation and equal pension benefits.”
At today’s hearing, at least seven members asked about pay disparity: Donovan Richards, Rory Lancman, Justin Brannan, Keith Powers, Chaim Deutsch, I. Daneek Miller and Paul Vallone. The PBA wants to commend each of them, including those who tweeted and made statements.
Notably, Council Member Rory Lancman made a compelling case that if the City looks at market rate for other positions, it should do the same for New York City police officers. He pointed out that the Mayor and Press Secretary Phillips both acknowledged factoring in what other markets pay their schools chancellors to determine what New York should pay theirs. The Police Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner Vincent Grippo responded that they would like to see officers paid more.
The PBA and the City are at impasse in their contract negotiations and have been participating in a state-supervised mediation process since November 2017.
@RoryLancman points out that @BilldeBlasio justified paying his schools chancellor more because they made more in other cities - suggests same argument should apply to police, who make less in NYC than nearby departments.
@RoryLancman arguing for higher NYPD pay, which he says compares unfavorably to law enforcement with overlapping jurisdictions, including MTA police, PAPD, NYSP
You can support the NYPD and still want cops held to highest standard. No contradiction. We all want morale to be high. Impossible to say low pay not a factor. Needs to change.
Public Safety Chair @DRichards13 digs in on low pay for NYC cops vs other jurisdictions. 24,000 rank-and-file cops. According to a survey of @NYCPBA members: 89% said they would quit for a better paying job. 500+ cops resigned last year and left their pension on the table. Why?