NYC, NYPD union reach new contract after seven years of disagreement
The deal gives officers a compounded wage increase of 28.25% from 2017 to 2025 and pilots a new shift structure that will include fewer shifts, longer tours
By Chris Sommerfeldt, Michael Gartland
New York Daily News
NEW YORK — Mayor Adams and the Police Benevolent Association unveiled a tentative new labor agreement Wednesday, marking the end of a seven-year stretch in which the NYPD’s biggest union worked without a formal contract.
The new deal extends to 2025, and will grant rank-and-file cops raises retroactive to 2017. It also includes a provision for a pilot program that will allow about 400 police officers to pull longer hours in exchange for working fewer shifts throughout the work week.
“I gave my negotiation team very clear and direct orders: We will be fair,” Adams said in the City Hall rotunda. “We will make sure we look after the taxpayers. And we will also make sure we look after the people who are protecting the taxpayers.”
The tentative deal, which must still be approved by the union’s membership, will give officers a compounded wage increase of 28.25% from 2017 to 2025. All told, it will cost the city $5.5 billion through the 2027 fiscal year.
The majority of those raises are retroactive and extend back to 2017. As of Aug. 1, 2017, cops will get a raise of 2.25%. They’ll get another raise of 2.5% for the year starting Aug. 1, 2018, and a raise of 3% for the year starting Aug. 1. 2019.
After that, cops will get hikes of 3.25% on Aug. 1, 2020 and Aug. 1, 2021, and 3.5% on Aug. 1, 2022 and again Aug. 1, 2023. In the final year of the contract, starting Aug. 1, 2024, the raise will be 4%.
Officers with 5 1/2 years on the job will see their base pay top out at about $131,500 per year in August 2024, including holiday pay and uniform allowances, city officials say. Beginning pay for new officers will be $55,000 per year, starting in August 2023.
Under a six-month pilot program, about 400 officers will be permitted to work under a new shift structure that will include longer 10- and 12-hour tours. Bronx-based officers in the 45th and 47th precincts and in Transit District 11 and Public Service Area 8, which serves city housing projects in the 43rd, 45th and 47th precincts, will be able to participate in the pilot program.
Under the 12-hour shift option, cops would work three days on and have three days off within the NYPD’s scheduling framework. In the 10-hour option, cops would work 10-hour shifts for four days, followed by two days off.
“This agreement achieves a better work schedule for our officers — more family time and better quality of life,” said NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell. “Enhanced deployment flexibility for the department allows the NYPD to complete with the private sector and other agencies to recruit the best to join the finest.”
The pilot comes as the NYPD has witnessed a mass exodus of veteran cops who’ve either retired or taken jobs at other departments for better pay and benefits, and as the City Council is pressuring the department to reduce its overtime spending, which is expecting to go way over budget this fiscal year.
Sewell said the new scheduling options are aimed at reducing overtime costs, and noted that after six months, the pilot program would be evaluated. If the program works, the city hopes to expand it.
The pilot is also a way to address city employees’ ability to work from home, at least indirectly.
Adams, who at first strenuously resisted granting city employees a remote work option, has signaled he’s now open to the idea. But some city workers, like NYPD officers, don’t have the ability to do that effectively. The mayor said Wednesday that the flexible schedules in the new NYPD contract are aimed, in part, at addressing that discrepancy.
The contract deal came one day after Adams ordered nearly all city agencies, including the NYPD, to cut their budgets by 4% in the next fiscal year, a move that drew pushback from the Council.
A Council member involved in negotiations on next fiscal year’s city budget slammed the mayor for rolling out the NYPD raises on the heels of the spending reduction proposal, known as a Program to Eliminate the Gap, or a PEG.
“[It’s] tone deaf. How can they do a PEG letter and do this the next day?” the member said, arguing that the timing makes it seem like the administration will give the NYPD a pass on the new 4% budget shave.
Last year, the NYPD was one of only two municipal agencies that did not achieve budget savings targets stipulated by previous PEGs ordered by Adams. The other agency was the Department of Sanitation.
The contract announcement Wednesday morning — which included Sewell, PBA President Patrick Lynch and Adams’ top labor negotiator Renee Campion — appeared in stark contrast to the dynamic between the union and Adams’ predecessor, former Mayor Bill de Blasio, who didn’t get along with Lynch and didn’t negotiate a new agreement with the union during his tenure.
The PBA, which represents more than 20,000 rank-and-file cops, and the city have been at loggerheads for years, dating back to the first term of de Blasio’s administration.
This fact was, of course, not lost on Lynch at Wednesday’s announcement.
During his remarks at the podium, he alluded to how in years past he protested outside of City Hall to demand better pay and benefits for cops.
“I’ve stood outside this building and come up with creative chants and held many signs,” he said. “I must tell you it’s much better and more productive to be inside the building with all the folks that played a part in this.”
Lynch said that with Adams, informal negotiations literally started on the first day of his administration, when he met with the mayor in a hospital office after a police officer had been shot.
“It went on on a daily basis practically every day with the mayor, the staff, our commissioner,” he continued. “In a short amount of time, you knew we were having a real discussion, not talking around the issues, talking about the issues, that the words that were said to us were real.”
When asked to contrast that with de Blasio, Lynch said simply that “the door was open.”