NEW YORK, NY – The city’s largest police union, without a contract since July 2010, is going back to the bargaining table.
In a recent letter on the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association website, union President Pat Lynch said the a state agency had ordered the negotiations to resume and the PBA would comply.
Addressing the city’s labor situation Friday, Mayor de Blasio said, “There’s no formal negotiations going on yet. What’s happened is just a series of broad introductory meetings with some unions, and others will happen over time.”
The PBA filed a declaration of impasse in November and asked the state Public Employment Relations Board to resolve the dispute by naming a mediator.
But the city objected to the impasse declaration and sought to renew contract talks without a mediator, indicating that the change in administrations from former mayor Michael Bloomberg to de Blasio could represent an improved opportunity to strike a deal.
Lynch wouldn’t comment Friday, but in his letter he was less than optimistic, citing the “little progress in more than 3 1/2 years, with the parties’ views on wage increases and compensation being wholly irreconcilable …”
“Nevertheless,” Lynch wrote, “we will comply with PERB’s request and will continue negotiations in the hope that there has been a change to the harsh and inflexible demands that were advanced by the previous administration.”
All of the city’s 300,000 union workers are without contracts, some for as much as five years.
All told, the unions are looking for more than $7 billion in back pay.