NEW YORK (1010 WINS/WCBS 880) — The war of words is heating up between Mayor Michael Bloomberg and unions representing firefighters and police officers.

Unions for both departments have joined forces to combat what they call Bloomberg’s “campaign of misinformation.”

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Bloomberg has referred to the $12,000 payments to retired police officers and firefighters as “bonuses” that the city can no longer afford. He claims pension costs in the city have increased from two percent to 11 percent of the budget.

1010 WINS Reporter Al Jones on the unions coming together to fight “misinformation.”

WCBS 880 Reporter Monica Miller spoke with PBA President Pat Lynch about the proposed pension cuts

“Nobody wants to get cut back,” Bloomberg said. “We have to make a decision, do we want to send out Christmas bonuses or have more teachers?”

However, Firefighter Union President Steve Cassidy said “one has nothing to do with the other, it is an outright lie.”

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Cassidy said the payments are a part of their pension negotiated in 1988 as part of the financial deal to help the city get through that economic crisis.

“He’s unhappy with a deal that was struck 23 years ago, too bad,” Cassidy said.

PBA President Pat Lynch is taking issue with the Mayot’s comparison of an annual $12,000 payment made to many retired police and firefighters to Christmas bonuses in the private sector.

“It’s insulting to say that you should try to pit union worker, municipal worker, hard-working teachers and firefighters and police officers against each other. That’s a game they’re playing, we’re not falling for that,” said Lynch.

Any change in the payments to retired firefighters and police officers may need city council approval; the legislature would have the final say.

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