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

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

February 4th, 2014 by Joy Lukachick Smith in Local - Breaking News

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/Times Free Press.

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.