December 21, 2001

Police and Firefighters Win Court Victory in Seeking Raises

By RICHARD LEZIN JONES

he State Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that the city's police and firefighter unions may ask a state panel to help resolve contract disputes. Union leaders had long sought that change in the hope that they would win significant raises that would make their pay comparable to that in suburban departments.

The Giuliani administration, arguing that its labor costs would skyrocket and bankrupt the city government, had challenged a state law giving the unions that right. The state's highest court unanimously turned back that challenge yesterday.

The law, passed in 1998, allows unions representing police officers and firefighters