Hundreds of New York City police officers held a rally to protest against a proposal that would give them a 1 percent retroactive raise.
Rank-and-file officers gathered outside Gracie Mansion, the residence of Mayor Bill de Blasio, on Wednesday night, chanting, “De Blasio must go.”
With a large inflatable rat beside them, the NYPD officers also shouted, ”Blue lives matter,” and “We give 100 percent, they give 1.”
“We are here once again today to stand here and say New York City police officers are worth more than one,” Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said, according to AP.
NYPD officers have been working without a contract for six years. A draft of a proposed contract emerged earlier this month when an independent arbitrator suggested the new agreement grant officers a 1 percent raise for two years.
The arbitrator was called in after negotiations between the union and the city stalled.
The new contract would retroactively cover August 2010 to July 2012. New York City officials still need to negotiate another agreement for future raises beyond 2012.
“Cops are out there risking their lives. We’re losing cops,” said David Signor, an officer who works in the Bronx. “Well guess what: If my property tax goes up and my school tax goes up and my bills go up, and cops are giving their lives away, who’s going to support (my family) now, Mr. Mayor?
“Step up to the plate. Don’t be scared. Don’t hide in your free house. Come out and join and step up to the bargaining table and give us a contract we deserve,” the officer said, in reference to the mayor.
De Blasio has defended the arbitrator’s proposal with the Police Benevolent Association (PBA), saying it is in line with other contracts his administration has settled with 11 other uniformed unions, including those representing detectives, lieutenants and captains.
“We try to create fairness for everyone,” the mayor said Wednesday when asked about the proposed contract.
However, many of the 24,000 rank-and-file officers covered by the contract say that is not fair.