A couple hundred NYPD officers taunted Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday morning as he finished his breakfast and made his way to the Park Slope YMCA, protesting what the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association has called bad faith contract negotiations.
The group followed de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, from the patisserie on Ninth Street to the gym, chanting the mayor was a “liar.” Patrick Lynch, president of the PBA, the police’s union, said the last contract expired in July.
De Blasio and McCray walked into the gym together, smiling at each other as they passed the angry officers, who were blowing whistles and banging noise-makers. De Blasio did not address the officers or comment.
“We want him to come to the bargaining table and negotiate realistically with us,” Lynch said. “He’s offering New York City police officers zero raises for the work that we do. That’s just wrong.
“Mayor de Blasio: time to go to work,” he said.
Lynch, who spoke to the gathered officers through a megaphone, called the last contract that was negotiated “fair,” but said this time is different.
“We’re the finest, we should be paid the finest,” he said. “We want to be able to rear our families here in the city that we protect. We can’t afford to do that on zeros.”
A spokeswoman for the mayor’s office said the office was reviewing papers the PBA has filed for arbitration.
“Last year, we reached the first settlement with the PBA in almost 10 years and three years ago the city was successful in its contract arbitration with the union,” the spokeswoman said in an email. “We are confident that we will once again reach a result that is both fair to the police officers and the taxpayers.”
Several vehicles driving up Ninth Street honked their horns, garnering loud cheers from the officers.
Officer Anne-Marie Morrison, 54, both lives and works in the Bronx, and said it was important for the mayor to see “who he’s affecting.” Morrison has been an officer for 27 years.
“We work hard, and we deserve to get paid what we deserve to get paid,” said Morrison. “It’s very hard to live: we can’t put our kids through school, healthcare. It’s ridiculous.”
After de Blasio disappeared into the gym, Brooklyn South Officer Albert Mammon, 38, a cop for 17 years, said he hopes the large presence of officers helps the mayor understand how badly a raise is needed.
Mammon, a resident of Staten Island, said he wants the ability to “afford to live where we work… It’s time for an increase to make it better for us. Remember, very importantly: the better the pay, the better the qualified officers you’re going to get as well.”