Jeramey Jannene
City Hall

City Workers Will Get Hazard Pay Bonus

Mayor Barrett's proclamation boosts hourly pay by $3.13 for front-line workers.

By - May 22nd, 2020 06:19 pm
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A garbage truck in a Milwaukee alley. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A garbage truck in a Milwaukee alley. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

City of Milwaukee employees at an increased risk of on-the-job COVID-19 exposure will receive a $3.13 per hour hazard pay bonus effective immediately.

The bonus will be given to employees with public-facing duties or those that maintain equipment used by those employees. Included in that are Milwaukee Health Department employees staffing testing sites, Department of Public Works employees picking up garbage and those repairing the trucks, Department of Neighborhood Services employees performing inspections, Milwaukee Water Works employees repairing mains and individuals involved in the cleaning or maintenance of city buildings.

The hazard pay comes via an emergency proclamation by Mayor Tom Barrett.

Members of the Common Council had called for hazard pay to be awarded to front-line city employees in early April. Alderman Robert Bauman called it an “issue of fairness” in broaching the idea with DPW head Jeff Polenske.

The city has received approximately $105 million via the federal CARES Act that can be used to fund its COVID-19 response, but not to supplement lost revenues. Council members have already begun to discuss how future budgets may include furloughs in response to falling revenues and department heads have furloughed or reduced hours of lower-paid, non-essential employees to allow them to collect unemployment.

The bonus is set to expire on July 27th.

As part of the proclamation, Barrett suspended fees for parklets and covering parking meters. Parklets are expected to be part of the city’s strategy to allow restaurants to reopen to outdoor dining. A prior DPW change suspended meter requirements and other parking rules and allowed bars and restaurants to establish special curbside pickup zones. A number of other license fees were previously suspended.

UPDATE: An early version of this article stated that police officers and firefighters would be eligible. A representative of the Mayor’s office said they are not included. As a result of Act 10, public safety employees and their unions are governed under different bargaining rules than other city employees.

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Categories: City Hall, Health, Politics

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