Baltimore's Police and Fire unions pay more into their pension fund than any other city unions. When the city enacted legislation to basically freeze cost of living raises for fire and police until the age of 55 with a paltry 1 percent raise, then 2 percent at 62, it was not only age discrimination but breech of contract. They even froze cost of living increases for fire and police injured in the line of duty.

What is so shameful about the whole thing is that the politicians still managed to fully fund their pension system while still giving daily cost of living increases to retired politicians. No other city union had their retiree's cost of living increases frozen except fire and police officers. While we tell these first responders to be brave and put their lives on the line each and every day for the citizens of Baltimore, we cut off cost of living raises for which they depend on to survive like anybody else after they retire.

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Please keep in mind police and fire retirees do not get Social Security, so the pension they were promised is the only thing many of them have to make it on. To add insult to injury, to tell police officers and firefighters who gave their all and were injured in the line of duty that they will not get any type of raise until 55 years old is certain financial death to many. It is a shameless act that no one seems to care about or be outraged about, especially the citizens of Baltimore, which is the real crime here.

Michael Ceriale, Oviedo, Fla.

The writer is a retired captain in the Baltimore City Fire Department.

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To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

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