Don’t expect the president of the Albany Police Officers Union to win any community relations awards, especially from the city’s beleaguered taxpayers.

During an interview with WRGB-TV, Chris Mesley made no effort to sugarcoat demands for police pay raises in the midst of a crippling recession (here).

I’m not running a popularity contest here. I have to answer to my members. If I’m the bad guy to the average citizen paying their taxes and their taxes have go up to cover my raise, I’m very sorry about that, but I have to look out for myself and my membership.

Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings, who presumably looks out for both property taxpayers and the city treasury, has told nonunionized employees to expect zero raises in 2010.

Asked about Mesley’s comments, Jennings replied, “I can’t give money away that isn’t there.”

The Albany Police Union contract, which was approved in September, granted four-percent retroactive raises for both 2008 and 2009. The contract expired December 31. New contract negotiations have yet to begin.

Originally Published: NY Public Payroll Watch

You may also like

Meanwhile, on the mandate relief front

Governor Cuomo’s 2012-13 budget, to be presented later today, will command media attention for the rest of the week. Advance reports on his modified pension reform proposal are especially promising. Meanwhile, there’s a (fiscally) cost-free approach to helping local governments and school districts alleviate their budget problems: repealing the Triborough Amendment. Read More

Legislature rejects union arbitration cap

Governor Cuomo’s proposal to cap arbitration awards for police and firefighters is not included in the Senate or Assembly budget bills. This may be blessing in disguise: as argued here, Cuomo’s original proposal didn’t go nearly far enough. Since the arbitration law expires on June 30, the governor remains in a commanding position to demand more. Read More

Labor costs rose faster in public sector in ‘09

Employee compensation in the state and local government sector increased at twice the private-sector rate during the 12 months ending in December, according to national data released todayby the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read More

Getting Triborough wrong

“Mandate relief remains elusive,” is one of the state-related headlines in today’s Albany Times Union — and that much, at least, is true. Unfortunately, the articlebeneath the headline repeats a familiar canard about the origins of the Triborough Amendment. Read More

Persuading co-workers to retire

Oneida County employees participating in a proposed cash buyout program would have a strong incentive to get their co-workers to join them: their payments will increase if more employees participate. Read More

Examining MDs

Should physicians, who are licensed by the state of New York, be required to take a civil service exam in order to work for the state of New York? A state judge thinks so, but that's unlikely to be the last word on the controversy. Read More

Teaching without contracts

As schools open, the number of school districts at impasse with teacher unions has increased by 12 percent since a year ago, according to the Public Employment Relations Board. Also noteworthy--although not emphasized by PERB--nearly one out of three school districts has yet to negotiate a new contract with its teachers. Read More

Car 54, where are you?

New York City will track the whereabouts of its 379 building inspectors with GPS technology installed, not in their city-issued vehicles, but in their cell phones. Read More

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!