Barrett wants to end public safety furlough days, in exchange for pension payments

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is asking police and firefighters to pay into their pension plans.  The mayor announced his plan to end furlough days earlier this week but in exchange for payments into pension plans. Mayor Barrett says it will end inequity within city government.

"Every general city employee pays towards their pension yet 88 percent approximately of the public safety do not," Mayor Tom Barrett said.  "You can't have that type of division, you can't have that long term instability. I'm looking for equity."

Barrett says this is a direct result of Governor Walker's Act 10 legislation - which, according to Barrett, - pits city employee against city employee.

The Milwaukee Police Association is not happy with the proposal. They say it shows the mayor's disrespect for Public Safety workers. Alderman Bob Donovan -  a frequent critic of Mayor Tom Barrett-says it's not unreasonable to ask people to pay into their pension plan, but the mayor should work with the unions at the bargaining table instead of in public.

"It's important that the Mayor respect the fact that he's got to work with this union and not do it in a public way," Ald. Bob Donovan said.   "Sit down one-on-one and be a man about it. Let's talk these things over."

The Milwaukee Common Council is just starting to parse through the Mayor's 2016 budget.

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