Fri December 14, 2012
More Police Departments Paying Into State Pension Fund
More police departments in Wisconsin are paying into the state’s pension system, even though they’re not required to under Act 10.
Unions representing Eau Claire police officers and supervisors have agreed to pay 100% of the employee contribution to the Wisconsin Retirement System, even though state law doesn’t require it. Under Wisconsin Act 10 passed last year, most state and municipal employees are to make the pension payments, but not police and fire personnel. Eau Claire City Attorney Steve Nick says the city is pleased with the increased pension contributions.
“That will be a 6.65% reduction in their salary but we’ve pursued what we termed a net zero approach so that will mostly be offset by an increase of pay total over those two years of 6.65%,” he says.
Also, the labor agreement will require officers to pay a 8% of their health insurance premiums. Nick says it’s effectively a pay freeze that helps the city’s budget.
“For the city taxpayers side there’s no increase in costs in terms of wages and that’s a huge advantage that wages in essence will be frozen over this two year period," he says. "That’s obviously a considerable sacrifice and adjustment for our police officers but it helps on the city budget side.”
Eau Claire police have been without a new contract since July of last year. Nick says negotiations were delayed because of uncertainty over Act 10 and because they were waiting to see what kind of agreements were forged in other cities.
“Most communities are pursuing having their police and fire pay towards that WRS but offsetting it or mostly offsetting it with a corresponding wage increase," he says.
Nick says that includes Superior and Kenosha.