New York City police sergeants union signs new labor contract

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday announced that the City of New York has reached a tentative contract agreement with the Sergeants Benevolent Association, which covers 4,602 full-time sergeants of the NYPD.

With the agreement, the de Blasio administration has reached contract agreements with more than 76 percent of the city workforce, including four out of five police unions.

The deal comes after months of friction between the union and the mayor.

The union's head, Ed Mullins, called the mayor "a total nincompoop" in mid-December, adding that de Blasio needed "to humble himself."

"I want to speak to that first," de Blasio said Thursday. "I've been called a lot worse."

The rift was caused by de Blasio's handling of anti-NYPD protests that swept the city after a police officer was not indicted in Eric Garner's chokehold death.

And over the summer, when New York City was still in the running to host the Democratic National Convention, Mullins said the city wasn't safe enough.

Now, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association is the only police union not to have a new contract.

The agreement authorizes 11 percent raises over the next seven years.

It follows the pattern set by the teachers union. But, like other uniformed unions, it contains an additional 1 percent raise in its first year.

This agreement is pattern-conforming with the Uniformed Superior Officers Coalition agreement negotiated in December 2014. The agreement also incorporates the unprecedented health care savings agreed upon with the Municipal Labor Committee, ensuring that these raises are affordable and responsible for the City and its taxpayers.

The proposed seven-year contract would begin, retroactively, on August 30, 2011 and expire on August 29, 2018.

"Sergeants risk their lives every single day to keep the city safe, and this agreement recognizes and honors the difficult and dangerous work they do day in and day out," de Blasio said. "I'm proud of the progress we've made over the past year to settle contracts with more than 76 percent of the city's workforce and establish a respectful dynamic between the city and its employees."

So what changed for Mullins and the sergeants? "As you know both the Mayor and I had private conversations a while back," said Mullins. "And we definitely have differences and we have things we agree on but the one thing we agree on the most is the city of New York, which I believe is the capital of the world, should not crumble."

PBA president Pat Lynch continues to seek an agreement from an arbitrator for his union. For now the mayor just says great things can be accomplished when people work together.

"People are going to have differences. It's New York City," said de Blasio. "I represent 8.4 million people who have 8.4 million different opinions. That is the New York City tradition. But that doesn't mean we don't work together."
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