updated 7/23/2004 4:20:57 PM ET 2004-07-23T20:20:57

Delegates to next week’s Democratic National Convention — and presidential candidate John Kerry — will not have to cross picket lines of protesting police officers when they attend the four-day event.

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“I can unequivocally say that there won’t be any picketing at the FleetCenter,” Robert Haynes, the president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, said Friday, one day after an arbitrator settled a two-year contract dispute by awarding disgruntled Boston police with a four-year pay raise of 14.5 percent.

The Massachusetts AFL-CIO is the umbrella organization for the Boston Police Patrolman’s Association.

Despite the pay raise, the union remained miffed over how its contract dispute with the city was settled just days before the convention. Members planned to join firefighters who remain without a contract at demonstrations outside convention parties planned Sunday night for state delegations.

But the labor unrest could have presented a greater dilemma for the party, labor-friendly delegates and Kerry. Faced with protesting officers at a recent mayor’s conference, Kerry declined to cross the picket line to deliver a speech.

Two state delegations — Michigan and Ohio — canceled their parties, and delegates from several other states have said they would not cross the picket lines.

Police leaders said that any further action would be dictated by the firefighters and the three other smaller unions that remain without a contract.

The leader of the 1,460-member firefighters association, the largest city union still without a contract, said there are no planned protests after Sunday. The union’s board will meet throughout the weekend to determine if there is any way to put pressure on Boston Mayor Thomas Menino without harming Kerry, according to President Nick DiMarino.

The firefighters’ union, like its brethren nationally, has strong ties to Kerry.

“Our sole purpose is to get John Kerry elected president of the United States,” said DiMarino, whose union has been without a contract for a year.

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