In an arbitrator’s award to be unsealed today, Boston’s rank-and-file cops stand to get a nearly 25 percent pay hike over six years costing the city upwards of $125 million.
In an article released by the Herald, city councilors place the blame on Menino for failing to negotiate this contract, leaving it to an arbitrator whose award must either be accepted as is or renegotiated by the City Council.
“You should begin and end at the bargaining table, and not allow a third party to make a decision that is financially binding and then look to the City Council to undo what the arbitrator does,” said City Council President Stephen J. Murphy, who called for a hearing next week to grill the city’s chief labor negotiators on the recent contract pickle.
“It would be good to know all the ground rules before the boom is lowered on us,” Murphy said. “Who put us here and why?” Arbitrator Tim Buckalew’s award will give the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association a wage increase of “upwards of 23 percent,” Murphy said.
When asked, Menino spokeswoman Dot Joyce declined to answer whether the mayor will accept the Arbitrator’s award or urge the city council to renegotiate, however she did say Menino “will deliver it to the council with the facts on the award and ask them to vote on it based on those facts.”
Earlier this month The Herald reported that this police contract is just one of 10 unresolved union contracts that could force Boston’s next mayor to pick up a tab of more than $200 million in retroactive pay.”
A BPPA deal could also set the tone for the three other police unions representing detectives and superior officers, as well as the fire and EMT unions. The patrolmen’s union, which represents 1,447 cops, and the city failed to reach a deal after 24 negotiating sessions this year. The contract expired June 30, 2010. Thirty other city unions have already settled for an average 12.3 percent increase over a six-year period ending in 2016. Sources close to the negotiations say the city initially offered BPPA a 15.2 percent raise, then upped the offer to 19 percent at arbitration, but union president Thomas Nee countered by pressing for over 30 percent. Nee could not be reached yesterday. The police union has demanded parity with Boston firefighters, who in 2010 received a hefty arbitration award giving them a 19.2 percent pay increase over four years. The council — under pressure from Menino who didn’t want to accept the award — brokered a deal that gave the firefighters a 21.5 percent increase for five years, costing the city $102.6 million.
The globe noted this issue could come into play in the upcoming mayors race
SOURCE: Boston Herald