published Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Public safety workers protest Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke's pension plan

  • photo
    Chattanooga fire captain Ron Delker, from left, retired policeman Ezra Harris and retired fireman Bill York walk with 30 others to City Hall for a City Council meeting Tuesday in protest of Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke's recent pension reform.
    Photo by Tim Barber.
    enlarge photo

About 40 active and retired firefighters and police officers marched to City Council waving signs in opposition to Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke's recent pension reform.

"Trim your fat before you pick our bones," read one of the signs.

In early January, Berke accepted a recommendation from his 18-member task force to change the public safety employees pensions in order to cut the city's contribution levels and put the fund on a financially sturdy path going forward.

But several employees opposed to the plan said they believe the changes protect the highest-paid employees and disproportionately harm those in the middle and lower-paid ranks.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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