Panel awards 10 percent raise to NYC cops

The Associated Press

NEW YORK- A state arbitration panel has awarded the city's police officers a retroactive pay raise of about 10.25 percent over two years, or more than twice as much as Mayor Michael Bloomberg was offering.

The arbitration panel took up the matter in November after the city and the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association failed to reach an agreement during two years of bitter negotiations.

At times, off-duty officers and firefighters - also without a contract - hounded Bloomberg with protests outside his home and on the streets during last summer's Republican National Convention.

The panel's chairman, Eric J. Schmertz, indicated Tuesday that it was swayed by the PBA argument that its 22,000 members were vastly underpaid in comparison to officers in other big cities and in suburbs on Long Island and elsewhere.

The panel noted that the previous top annual salary for uniformed officers in the the New York Police Department - $54,048 - was less than that of 12 other cities, including Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles. The new top salary is $59,588.

The Bloomberg administration had wanted to give the officers 4 percent to 5 percent over three years.

A City Hall spokesman did not immediately return a call.

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