NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Dozens of members of the city council have signed a letter to the mayor that says New York City police officers are severely underpaid.
It goes on to say the salaries are not commensurate with police officers from other departments, adding the disparity cannot be solved through below inflation raises and cuts to health and pension benefits.
"New York City police officers are being severely underpaid, making it difficult for them to support their families and make ends meet. It is disgraceful that the men and women who protect one of the richest cities in America struggle to be able to feed their families and pay for basic needs. Moreover, this deficiency is detrimental to our shared goal of ensuring safety and justice for every New Yorker. We expect a great deal from our police officers, and it is imperative that the NYPD be able to recruit and retain the finest in order to meet those expectations," the letter said.
The letter, from 34 councilmembers, also states that in 2017, the number of officers resigning before retirement reached a six year high, with many of them taking higher paying jobs in other departments in the New York City area.
"To tell these men and women that keep us safe every day no questions asked, that they gotta work overtime, they gotta work two jobs, three jobs to support their family, is a shame," Brooklyn Councilman Justin Brannan said.
PBA President Pat Lynch thanked those councilmembers for signing the letter.
"I want to thank the councilmembers, those that stand here, those that signed that letter, those we hope to get to sign this letter, I want to thank them for having the courage to stand with New York police officers on these great steps and say, 'let's treat our police officers fairly, let's treat them as professionals, and let's pay them so that they can do both," he said.
Lynch said he was fighting for the families and officers who live with the risk of going out on patrol every day.
A spokesman for City Hall said the city was committed to reaching a contract agreement.
“New York City Police Officers are some of the best compensated in the nation. We remain committed to working with the PBA to come to a contract agreement that is fair to police officers and taxpayers even though they’ve decided to seek arbitration. We proved we can accomplish this across the bargaining table in 2017, and we can do it again now," Raul A Contreras said.