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City officially reverses police pension changes
WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg city council has officially reversed changes to the police pension in a unanimous vote.
In a tight 9-7 vote last December, council agreed to eliminate overtime as a pensionable earning, alter early retirement provisions, and increase officer contributions, to save an estimated $12 million a year.
Following a grievance by the police union, an arbitrator ruled the city can’t make the changes outside the collective bargaining process.
The city decided not to appeal the ruling.
The decision has left a hole in the police budget, as some of the savings were earmarked for frontline officers and a funding shortfall.
Mayor Brian Bowman campaigned on the overtime issue.
In a press conference following Friday’s council meeting Mayor Bowman addressed some of the financial challenges reversing the changes causes.
“The overall objective has always been about having a much more sustainable police budget, and I haven’t really heard from too many people who think the current police pension is sustainable” said Bowman.
“We will ultimately have to make some decisions for this years budget, I’ve spoken directly with the chief of police and we’ll work collaboratively with the police service to do our best.”
Bowman said some difficult decision will have to be made.