• Mayoral candidate criticizes Boston police raise proposal


    BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- State Rep. Martin Walsh called an arbitrator's proposed 25.4-percent hike in pay for Boston police officers over a period of six years "out of line with the current economic environment."

    The mayoral candidate also criticized the man he hopes to replace next year.

    "Because Mayor Menino has chosen to pursue irresponsible negotiating tactics, he has put the City in the untenable position of choosing between an exorbitant arbitration award or reneging on the basic tenets of collective bargaining," said the mayoral candidate in a press release Saturday.

    Walsh is calling on Mayor Tom Menino to work with the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association to negotiate a deal that would "better protect the taxpayers" while also addressing the concerns of the "hardworking police officers who have gone years without a contract."

    The Boston Herald first reported Friday the proposed raise could cost the city more than $80 million.

    The mayor told FOX 25 he has called on the city council to vote down the arbitrator's ruling.

    "I urged them to veto it, it's just too expensive to the city at this time," said Mayor Menino.

    City Councilor John Connolly, who is also a candidate for mayor, released a statement Friday voicing his plans to look at all aspects of the proposal before making a decision.

    "I take my responsibilities as a City Councilor seriously. This is about our city's fiscal health. This is also about our hard working police officers who have gone years without a raise. I'm going to read the arbitrator's decision, meet with the City CFO, meet with the BPPA, and then decide," said Connolly.

    During a press conference Saturday, Connolly reiterated plans to speak with all parties involved before approving or disapproving of the arbitrator's ruling. He also criticized his opponent's comments on the decision.

    "What Marty Walsh did today was just politics," said Connolly during a press conference Saturday. "It's outrageous for Marty Walsh to blame the mayor for putting us in this position. The mayor offered the patrolmen a 19-percent raise that was refused. This is not about the mayor, it's about a broken arbitration process that has put us in this position."

    Connolly claims Walsh previously proposed legislation that would make an arbitrator's decision final.

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