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Over a hundred Miami-Dade police officers who received pink slips on January 5 may avoid layoffs after all. To save their jobs they'll have to pay an increased portion of their salary towards healthcare benefits.
On Tuesday, Miami-Dade Commissioners voted 7-6 to to take $10 million out of a health trust plan and combine it with a 4 percent contribution from officer's salaries.
While the new rate is better than 5 percent originally asked for by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, the Police Benevolent Association and affected officers are far from pleased. Their current contribution of 5 percent would almost double to 9.
Gimenez addressed the commission chambers, where tearful officers showed photos of their children and pleaded for their jobs and benefits. "We're trying to do the best we can to keep as many employees employed as possible," the mayor said.
"The people who put their lives on the line for your families, you're stealing our money," police sergeant Robert Borgmann told CBS 4.
The proposed 4 percent plan will be voted on again in September, when it expires. According to the Miami Herald, only one commissioner changed sides after initially opposing the extra 5 percent contribution:
Commissioners Lynda Bell, Esteban Bovo, Audrey Edmonson, Sally Heyman, Barbara Jordan, Dennis Moss and Rebeca Sosa voted for the compromise. Chairman Joe Martinez and Commissioners Bruno Barreiro, Jose “Pepe” Diaz, Jean Monestime, Javier Souto and Xavier Suarez voted against.
The pivotal vote came from Jordan, the only commissioner to switch sides after having opposed Gimenez’s extra 5-percent contribution on Jan. 5...“The level of unemployment in this community is still at a historic high,” she said. “I am not willing to support putting employees on the street.”