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We previously reported on the terms of the contract between the BPCA and AlliedBarton. One item detailed was the hourly wages. That caught the attention of The Post.
The Post writes, “Gov. Cuomo is stumping across New York pushing for a $15-an-hour minimum wage — but a state entity run by his appointees just slashed salaries below his proposed “living” wage, The Post has learned.
The Battery Park City Authority booted its unionized park enforcement officers and outsourced the work to a private firm, AlliedBarton, which pays the nonunion security workers at the 92-acre mixed-use site along the lower Hudson a starting salary of $12.50.
The city parks enforcement officers who had patrolled Battery Park City before they were replaced were making $17.50 an hour, sources said.
Critics blasted the move as hypocritical.
“It’s outrageous Battery Park City would be employing people at substandard wages while Gov. Cuomo’s initiative is to raise the minimum wage. It’s a poor decision made by the governor’s appointees,” said Joe Puleo, president of Local 1983 of District Council 37, which represents parks enforcement officers.
But the BPCA said AlliedBarton workers are paid up to $15 an hour depending on experience, plus a “significant benefits package.” The group added that at the end of a year, it will consider any “increases in salaries based on the current wage requirements under state and city law.”
Cuomo’s office defended the BPCA arrangement, noting that his $15 proposal — which requires the approval of the state Legislature — would take effect in the city on Dec. 31, 2018, and the rest of the state in July 2021. The state minimum wage is now $9.
“Until it is law, independent companies can buy in voluntarily, but requiring some and not all similarly situated employers to do so would create a competitive disadvantage in contracting and in the marketplace,” a spokesman said. “We want to see a livable wage for every New Yorker and will continue to fight for its inclusion in the budget.”
The BPCA had used the parks enforcement officers since 1992 through a contractual arrangement with the Parks Department.
The park officers have the power to arrest scofflaws and were authorized to carry handcuffs and pepper spray. The new safety “ambassadors” don’t have the same arresting authority, and must call their supervisor in an emergency instead of calling 911.
Manufacturing magnate Dennis Mehiel, the BPCA’s chairman and CEO, has contributed $92,000 to Cuomo’s political campaigns, state records show.”