Dozens of New York City police officers hurled demands and booed at Mayor Bill de Blasio on his way into a Brooklyn gym Monday morning.
Members of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association gathered outside the YMCA in Park Slope to demand higher wages, shouting, “We want a new contract” and waving signs that read, “Put some sweat into working on our PBA contract” and “Workout a contract with cops,” the New York Post reported.
The union said it’s been negotiating market wages with the city for over two years with little luck. PBA President Pat Lynch said NYPD officers are paid 34 percent less than police officers in surrounding areas like Nassau and Suffolk counties, News 12 Brooklyn reported.
“We want to be out in the streets. We need more of us. We need to be treated and paid as professionals so we can get this job done,” Mr. Lynch said.
PBA Vice President John Puglissi said police officers were given a “disgraceful” one-percent raise during a recent arbitration.
“We have a mayor that’s unwilling to negotiate in good faith,” Mr. Puglissi told the Post. “He spends his day here at the gym, avoiding the real task of paying New York City’s Finest, the police officers, who work hard each and every day, protecting the lives of New York City citizens.”
“So what we’re trying to do now is bring the attention here and focus it on him going to the gym. So maybe he’ll realize, we’re not just going to go away,” he added.
Mr. de Blasio did not engage with the protesters before heading into the gym, the Post reported.
The mayor’s office previously released a statement saying, “Under this mayor, crime has fallen to record lows, 1,300 more cops are on the street, and we’ve invested $320 million more in officer safety and equipment. We are willing to talk about this every day — at the gym or anywhere else.”