Police unions link contract talks to stop-frisk litigation

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Two leaders of the city's police unions said on Tuesday they would consider using their ongoing stop-and-frisk litigation as a point of leverage during contract negotiations.

"My feeling is that's something for negotiations; that's something that you bring to the bargaining table," Captains Endowment Association president Roy Richter told Capital.

Richter's union is attempting to appeal a federal court ruling that the NYPD misused stop-and-frisk. The court ordered a monitor to oversee the department, with an order to scale back the policing method.

When asked if he would agree to drop his appeal if the de Blasio administration offered him a suitable contract, Richter indicated he might.

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"To the extent that that the city is open to discussing it outside the courtroom and include that as part of ongoing labor negotiations, I think that's appropriate and I'm open to that," he said.

Richter said he plans to meet with City Hall's labor negotiators in the coming weeks.

Currently 152 municipal labor deals are expired, and Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he plans to settle them by the end of the calendar year, though he has not committed to providing retroactive wages for years worked under outdated contracts.

Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, also did not dismiss the idea of linking the appeal to contract talks.

"At the end of the day, the goal should be, from both sides of the table, to achieve fair contracts and ultimately do what's right, in the best interest of everyone," Mullins told Capital. "And that means for the taxpayer and the employee. If there are better ways to settle issues, whether it be stop-and-frisk or other labor issues and that can be done across the table instead of paying all these lawyers, I'm sure the city as well as myself would be willing to discuss those things."

"I'm open to discuss any topic related to bargaining, the safety of the city, methods of policing," he added.

In addition to appealing the federal decision, Mullins also sued over the City Council's ban on bias-based profiling. De Blasio is expected to drop former mayor Michael Bloomberg's legal action against that measure this week.

Mullins said he had one meeting with de Blasio's top labor negotiator, Robert Linn, in late February.

He described it as cordial but said, "It didn't move the ball forward."

One of the sticking points between his union and the city, he said, is whether his members should contribute more toward their health care. Linn did not propose a specific amount for  sergeants to pay toward their benefits, Mullins added.

"Not a lot of issues [were] brought up. Basically it was preliminary ground rules for overall goals," he said.