Politics & Government
3:58 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Milwaukee May Pay City Workers More, If They Live Here

City leaders want to encourage residency, now that state leaders have banned residency requirements

The City of Milwaukee may not force public workers to live here but might pay them more, if they do. The Common Council approved a resolution Tuesday, to reward employees who live in the city.

When the state outlawed residency requirements this summer, Milwaukee leaders announced they would continue enforcing the city’s rule. It had been in effect for decades. However, a judge informed the city - it had to abide by the new state law.

Ald. Michael Murphy says it does appear though, the city can set separate pay raises for resident and non-resident employees.

“City attorney has advised, there is no contradiction between the nonresident differential because the city has agreed to the wording on an injunction to not enforce the residency requirement,” Murphy says.

The plan the Council adopted would give a 1.5 percent pay raise to city workers who lived here as of June 23. Then employees who live here through December 21st, would get another 1.5 percent boost. Even though those who move out would not get that second bump, Murphy says it’s time for a raise.

“No wage adjustments, neither progression or across the board were made to general city employees for 2010, 2011 or 2012,” Murphy says.

The raises will cost the city $2.8 million. The ordinance passed by a vote of 14 to one.

Ald. Bob Donovan was not present, but asked that his vote be recorded as ‘no.’

The pay plan would not affect police and firefighters. Their unions and the city still negotiate contract terms.