By PoliceOne Staff
NEW YORK — Firefighters and police officers in New York City are joining forces to battle pension reform proposals by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The presidents of the Uniformed Firefighters Association and Patrolmen's Benevolent Association announced Wednesday they are fighting plans to halt $12,000 annual payments given to retired firefighters and police officers on top of their regular pensions, according to The NY Daily News.
"As we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Mike Bloomberg wants to say to firefighters and police officers who were there that day and didn't die, 'I'm going to steal money from your pocket,'" Steve Cassidy, head of the UFA, said.
More than 30,000 retired firefighters and police officers receive the payment, according to the newspaper. The payment was established in 1968 when the unions gave the city several million dollars to invest in the stock market.
Reports say it is one of the very few pension benefits that is not protected by the state's constitution.
Speaking on the steps of City Hall on Wednesday, Patrick Lynch, president of the PBA, criticized Mayor Bloomberg for referring to the payment as a "bonus."
In response, Reuters quoted the mayor as saying, "We certainly didn't put out anything that is — to the best of my knowledge — isn't accurate and true."
"The question is how are we going to provide the services people want without raising taxes?"