Small Proposed Pay Increase For Some, But Not All General Milwaukee City Workers, Disrespects All Employees


Date: Friday, November 2nd

Subject: Small Proposed Pay Increase For Some, But Not All General Milwaukee City Workers, Disrespects All Employees

AFSCME Wisconsin voiced concerns today on the proposed pay increase amendment put forward by Milwaukee Alderwoman Chantia Lewis.

Currently, Alderwoman Lewis is proposing a 1% pay increase for only “Group A” employees (technicians, paraprofessionals, administrative support, skilled craft and service and maintenance sections) of the City of Milwaukee.

AFSCME appreciates Alderwoman Lewis taking action to address the significant issues with turnover and lack of financial respect for talented city employees, but her suggested pay increase does not address the root causes of the many issues affecting Milwaukee City workers.

This pay increase concerns AFSCME for two reasons:

  1. The pay increase is only for Group A employees, which mean that most general employees will not see any raise at all. All general employees at the City deserve a pay increase, since they have been awarded only 2.5% in raises in the last 10 years. This stands in direct contrast to other city service departments (police and fire) where the City has managed to consistently fund yearly pay increases. 

  1. The amount of the raise is not nearly enough to begin to make up the lost wages from inflation due to the wage stagnation of the last 10 years.

AFSCME members are passionate about providing excellent services to the citizens of Milwaukee, but but it gets harder each year to get the work done until the City of Milwaukee makes a serious investment to stop turnover and retain talented staff.

With over 60% of the City budget supporting police and fire, it is clear that Milwaukee can find money to support important services - it is now time for the City to support the rest of her employees.

As Mark Pelzek, an AFSCME member and employee of the City of Milwaukee, said during his remarks at the budget hearing on Monday, October 8th;

“We’re not here to diminish the work of the police and fire departments, rather we are here to remind you of the important work that the general city employees work. These are the folks who pick up your trash, repair your roads, help you find books at the library and so much more.”

~Mark Pelzek, AFSCME Member

AFSCME urges the Alderwoman Lewis to modify her budget amendment to support the many City of Milwaukee employees who deserve recognition. We suggest she alter her amendment to include Group A, Group B and Career Ladder employees in the pay raise and increase the amount to 3% - a good first step to addressing years of negative pay growth. Additionally, we do not want to see this pay increase funded by reducing  payments into the Pension Reserve Fund which supports City workers.

A City budget is a document that demonstrates the values of a community. AFSCME looks to the Common Council to demonstrate their commitment to ALL the hardworking employees of the City by implementing the above modifications to Alderwoman Lewis’ budget amendment.

Questions on the above? Contact Michael Horecki ([email protected])