In Muskegon, Michigan, law enforcement people are getting the “two hands” treatment.
That’s where someone gives you something with his or her right hand while taking something away with the left.
According to multiple reports, Muskegon police would receive salary increases but also reductions to retirement benefits as part of a five-year labor agreement currently being negotiated.
The deal includes salary increases averaging 3.4 percent per year for DPW workers and 2.9 percent per year for police officers.
The pension changes would impact only personnel hired before 2006 and the changes will reduce pensions for officers by thousands of dollars per year.
This is likely to save the city more than $300,000 per year.
Supporters of smaller pensions, or eliminating pensions for public employees altogether, say the changes will increase the pension funding level from 91 percent to more than 105 percent.
To help make up for the reduction in pension benefits, the city agreed to annual salary increases for police officers.
Local officers will see 5 percent increases in pay in the first year and 2 percent for each of the following two years.
Here are some other details of the proposed police officers’ contract:
• When an officer’s employment ends, unused sick days would be paid at 75 percent of salary rather than the current 50 percent.
• Unused vacation days would be paid out annually at 100 percent of pay and could be received as cash or contributions to a health savings account. Currently, receiving the cash is not an option.