DN: Why the police contract is a big deal

Expanding on points Sandra Shea made here on Friday, the Daily News today dubs the police arbitration award a "supremely big deal," particularly in regard to pensions and health benefits:

The system is clearly broken. This new award doesn't fix it, but it goes a long way to helping the city grapple with what is definitely a crisis.

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Both these changes could provide a new template for realigning health and benefits for other city unions. That's the biggest news of all.

Yes, the paper acknowledges, the contract creates some shorter-term challenges in terms of raises, but the potential for structural change over the long haul outweighs those. It concludes that Mayor Nutter, by arguing succesfully for these changes, "has provided a service to the city and its long-term health."

We'd add that, no matter what you think of the FOP contract, it's generally a good thing to have elected officials who think in time frames bigger than just their term in office, and Nutter appears to be doing that here.

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