Kaye Scholer Wins Huge, Precedent Shattering Victory for Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association in Pay Dispute with The City Of New York

May 19, 2008

In a ground breaking victory after 12 days of hearings, on May 19, 2008 the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (“PBA”) was awarded wage increases of nearly 10% over a two-year period in its state-mandated arbitration against the City of New York. In a marked departure from NYC collective bargaining history, the neutral Arbitrator rejected the City’s argument that the PBA should be held to “pattern” increases of 3% and 3.15% in each year of the two-year contract, as the City had negotiated with every other uniformed union in the City. This award also marks the first time since 1898 that NYC police officers’ basic maximum pay has exceeded that of NYC firefighters, breaking 110 years of “pay parity” that has held back police pay. In her opinion, the Arbitrator recognized the increased duties, responsibilities and weightier requirements of the police job since the horrific events of 9/11 and the gross and growing pay disparities between the City’s police officers and officers in other local jurisdictions (such as the Port Authority Police) and larger national cities. This award alone is worth some $700 million in new pay to the over 23,000 police officers whose interests were represented in this case. This award is the most recent in a string of arbitration successes in which Kaye Scholer has won pay increases for police officers, totaling more than 35% for the years 2000-2006.

Kaye Scholer has represented the PBA in ground breaking 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2008 victories in public sector arbitrations and court cases, upholding the NYS interest arbitration system for NYC police officers and resulting in awards totaling well over $1.3 billion to NYC police officers. The awards are, by far, the largest of this type in public or private employment.

The Kaye Scholer team was again led by Jay W. Waks (Partner, Litigation; Chair, Employment & Labor Law, New York Office) (who was also the PBA-appointed member of the tri-partite Arbitration Panel), along with the collaborative efforts of Peter M. Fishbein (Special Counsel, Litigation, New York Office), Barry Willner (Managing Partner, New York Office), Jeffrey A. Fuisz (Partner, Litigation, New York Office), Mary Laurino (Senior Legal Assistant, New York Office), and at an earlier stage, Arthur E. Brown (Partner, Litigation, New York Office).

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