Police And Firefighters Fight For Pensions In MD | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Police And Firefighters Fight For Pensions In MD

Play associated audio
Baltimore City says retirement benefits for fire and police officers must be scaled back to be sustainable.
Cathy Duchamp
Baltimore City says retirement benefits for fire and police officers must be scaled back to be sustainable.

By Cathy Duchamp

The Baltimore City Council will vote today on a plan to reduce payouts pledged to retired police officers and firefighters. Council members say it’s the only way to keep the pension system solvent during tough economic times. But union chiefs plan to fight the measure.

For Stephan Fugate, fighting fires has been the best job he’s ever had.

"You’ll never get rich, but you get to help people, you get to literally save lives on a fairly regular basis," says Fugate.

But these days, Fugate’s main job is saving his union’s pension plan from cuts proposed by the Baltimore City Council. The most contentious measure would give retirees a fixed annual cost of living increase, instead of a variable rate that kicks out higher returns in good financial times. Fugate says the change violates the city’s pension ordinance.

"In essence that contract clause says that once you’re hired, your benefits cannot be diminished or impaired," he says.

City managers say Baltimore may have to declare bankruptcy if public pensions aren’t cut, for current workers as well as retirees. Fugate says the police and firefighter unions will take the city to court over the issue.

NPR

Mafia Wife, Getaway Driver, Stunt Woman: From The Underworld To Hollywood

Georgia Durante's career as a stunt driver has led to roles in car commercials and movies. But before the bright lights of Hollywood, the former model was speeding away from a dark past.
NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
NPR

All Eyes On Obama, World Leaders At Climate Change Summit

More than 120 leaders are expected to attend the one-day climate summit sponsored by the United Nations. They've been instructed to arrive with "bold ideas" to slow the rise in global temperatures.
NPR

Drivers, Passengers Say Uber App Doesn't Always Yield Best Routes

People love Uber, but they often complain the Uber app's built-in navigation doesn't give its drivers the best directions. The company says the app helps drivers and passengers travel efficiently.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.