Unions for police and firefighters reject pay cuts

Unions representing Topeka’s police officers and firefighters have rejected the city’s proposal that those city employees accept a temporary 3% pay cut to deal with plummeting city tax revenues in the wake of measures to slow the COVID-19 outbreak.

An attorney representing the unions said in a letter Wednesday to Topeka City Manager Brent Trout that the unions would not accept the cuts, the Capital-Journal reported. The unions suggested several alternative measures for the city to consider before pushing a pay cut on first responders. Those measures included using the city’s general reserve fund and relying on upcoming police and firefighter retirements for cost-savings.

A day earlier Topeka’s mayor and city council members voted unanimously to cut their own pay by 6% in an effort to save taxpayer dollars. That temporary cut begins with the pay period that starts May 2 and ends with the pay period that ends Dec. 11.