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NYPD Officers Rally Outside Gracie Mansion Over Arbitrator's 1 Percent Raise

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Police officers are holding a rally across the street from Gracie Mansion Wednesday night after an arbitrator gave them what they call a low-ball deal on raises.

As CBS2's Dick Brennan reported, infuriated NYPD officers represented by the Police Benevolent Association are sending a message to Mayor Bill de Blasio about what they think of their contract situation.

"De Blasio -- one time mayor," the crowd chanted.

The officers have been without a contract for six years.

Recently, an arbitrator gave the officers a one percent raise each year for a two-year period covering 2010 through 2012.

"It's pretty bad when we get a one percent raise that doesn't even meet inflation," said NYPD Officer Richard Dlana.

"Newark PD, Elizabeth New Jersey $84,000-$86,000 a year; us $76,000; Port Authority $92,000; MTA police $115,000. Everybody is paid way more than us and we're supposed to be the finest, and this city wants to pay us on the cheap," said NYPD Officer Aaron Diaz.

PBA President Pat Lynch said they give 100 percent when they put their lives on the line, and so they're worth more than a 1 percent pay hike, 1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria reported. He then read the names of some of the officers who have been killed in the line of duty since the last contract.

The union has also put ads in newspapers protesting arbitrator Howard Edelman's decision, and even rallied outside his East Side home.

But de Blasio said he thinks the decision is in line with other union contracts.

"We believe it's fair. The PBA leadership decided on arbitration. We said throughout that process our door was open, our door is still open, to talk about a long-term contract but it will be part of the pattern that all the uniformed services have agreed to," the mayor said.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said it was the PBA president's fault for taking the case to arbitration.

"He rolled the dice and he lost on this roll of the dice," Bratton said.

Bratton said he understands officers are upset about the contract situation, but he thinks the overall morale of the NYPD is good, adding he's done other things like improve the discipline system as well as provide smart phones and other new technologies.

But many of the 24,000 rank and file officers covered by the contract said that's not enough.

Once the arbitrator's draft decision is made final, it is binding, WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported.

Lynch said he wants the mayor and the arbitrator to change their minds on the deal, and if not, the mayor will feel the anger of the police force of New York City, Brennan reported.

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