They have the toughest job in law enforcement and are among the lowest paid big-city cops in the nation. The union representing these 24,000 hard working officers has been in arbitration for months and has not had a contract since 2010. Expectations were high that arbitrator Howard Edelman would come in with a fair ruling and NYPD police officers would finally make salaries comparable to other agencies in the Tri-State area. But the decision was something else entirely.
Shouting “1 percent’s not good for us!” and “Howard the coward!” a thin blue line of angry NYPD cops protested Thursday outside Edelman’s Upper East Side home — venting frustration over his award of paltry 1 percent raises.
According to the New York Post, at least 1,000 members of the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association took their beef with Howard Edelman, chairman of the Public Employment Relations Board, to his luxury digs on York Avenue, where he lives in the penthouse.
Edelman awarded retroactive raises for city cops of just 1 percent over each of the past two years, between Aug. 1, 2010, through July 31, 2012.
Protesters carried a makeshift coffin to symbolize the danger they face every day on the job. Some carried signs with a picture of Edelman crossed out.
PBA President Pat Lynch read the names of cops killed in the line of duty, and union members yelled out, “Those lives matter,” after each one.
Most uniformed workers are now working under contracts that have 11 percent raises spread out over seven years. But the PBA believed it could roll the dice and get more from an arbitrator.
“This arbitrator says those lives are only worth 1 percent while he’s a 1 percenter living in a penthouse,” the union leader said.
“Our officers can’t afford to live in the city that we protect. All we ask is for him to have the courage to do his job like we have the courage to do our job.”