Let’s settle police and fire labor contracts first
Statement from Alderman Joe Davis, Sr. October 30, 2015
As the Common Council takes up the amendments to the Mayor’s proposed 2016 City of Milwaukee Annual Budget, there are several proposals that would add more police officers to the Milwaukee Police Department’s operating budget. Although I agree that the Barrett Administration has not dealt with the appropriate police staffing requirements (which few dispute will help address the increase in violent crimes, response times, and homicides), I’m more concerned with the issue of approving contracts for our public safety employees who serve the City of Milwaukee.
The Milwaukee Police Association, the Milwaukee Police Supervisors Organization, and the Milwaukee Professional Fire Fighters, Local 215 have not had an approved labor contract for approximately three years. This has put the City of Milwaukee at a fiscal crossroads (unknown costs, unknown future, etc.), and it is an irresponsible situation to be putting our taxpayers in.
The men and women who serve the Milwaukee Police Department and the Milwaukee Fire Department deserve to have an approved contract with back pay, NOW! I cannot understand why in the past three years we have not negotiated these agreements but purposely and continuously kick the can down the road, causing fiscal uncertainty that the taxpayers will eventually have to cover. To now add to the uncertain financial obligation (by adding more officers) would be, in my opinion, fiscally unwise.
Let’s get these contracts executed, and restore the morale and commitment to the rank and file of our dedicated public safety employees.