• Refine Search

  • All Results

Department of Employee Relations

Welcome to the Department of Employee Relations

The Department of Employee Relations (DER) serves as the City of Milwaukee’s Human Resources department.

The Department provides oversight and direction over the following:


  • City's civil service system
  • HR policies 
  • Recruitment
  • Onboarding 
  • Compensation services  
  • Benefits and wellness services
  • Labor
  • Compliance  
  • Safety  
  • Grievances 
  • Leave administration
  • Other employee relations matters

DER is also responsible for implementing best practices that support the delivery of quality and timely city services.


About Us

  • Announcements
  • Featured News
  • Training
  • Jobs
  • Featured Jobs
  • ERGs
  • Be a Mentor!

Important Notice About DER's Reception Area

The Department of Employee Relations (DER) is open for business and here to assist applicants and employees with HR-related matters. Our reception area is located on the 7th Floor and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact the numbers above.


Featured News

City of Milwaukee Employee RNC FAQ

As the City continues planning for the events surrounding the 2024 Republican National Convention, the Department of Employee Relations wants to ensure that decisions about how City of Milwaukee employees may be impacted are communicated promptly and thoughtfully. This will not only help to minimize disruptions to departmental operations but also ensure that employees have up-to-date information on policies, expectations, and other personnel matters.

City of Milwaukee Employee RNC FAQ

*This document will be updated as new information becomes available.* 
If you are a City of Milwaukee employee with a question about the RNC not covered in the FAQ document, please email [email protected]


2% General Wage Increase Effective Pay Period 2, 2024

The 2024 Budget approved a 2% general increase effective Pay Period 2, 2024. (January 7, 2024):

  • Eligible non-represented General City Employees will receive a 2% increase in base pay effective January 7, 2024.

  • Pay ranges for eligible non-represented titles in the City of Milwaukee Salary Ordinance have been increased by 2% effective Pay Period 2, 2024 (January 7, 2024).

2% General Wage Increase FAQs

Skilled Trades, Field Staff, Laboring Titles Report Implementation Effective Pay Period 18, 2023

Part 1 and Part 2 of the Skill Craft, Service and Maintenance reports are effective Pay Period 18, 2023 (August 20, 2023). The report is going to be implemented in multiple parts. 

Frequently Asked Questions


City of Milwaukee to Host Career Fair at City Hall

The City of Milwaukee is hosting a Career Fair on Thursday, May 25, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the City Hall Rotunda, located at 200 E. Wells Street. 

Milwaukee job and skill seekers can learn about current job openings within the City of Milwaukee. Representatives from 15 departments will be on-hand to answer questions. Dozens of job opportunities are available, ranging from entry-level to professional careers.

Job seekers can also apply onsite at City Hall. Computers will be available for use. Human Resources representatives will be there to assist with applications. 

Attendees can also attend various workshops, on the 3rd and 8th floors, to learn about what it's like to work for the City of Milwuakee. Break-out sessions include: City Benefits Q&A, How to Obtain a CDL, Career Paths within the City of Milwaukee, Careers in Urban Forestry & Code Enforcement.

The Career Fair is sponsored by Pete's Fruit Market and attendees can take home fresh fruit for free.

Registration is encouraged. RSVP here. 

More information can be found here. 

1% Longevity Increase Effective Pay Period 5, 2023 

The 2023 Budget approved a 1% longevity increase effective Pay Period 5, 2023 (February 19, 2023):

• Eligible employees will receive an increase of 1% on base pay effective February 19, 2023.
• Eligible employees are regularly appointed General City employees, non-sworn Fire and Police department staff, and sworn non-represented management personnel in Fire and Police departments who have a benefit service date of 5 years or more by March 4, 2023.
• The 1% longevity increase will not impact employees in the classifications of Election Inspector, Chief Inspector, Municipal Court Commissioner, temporary positions, employees represented by the Milwaukee Police Supervisors Organization (MPSO), Milwaukee Police Association (MPA), and Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Association, Local 215; Members of Boards and Commissions (Part I, Section 10 of the Salary Ordinance); or Elected Officials (Part I, Section 11 of the Salary Ordinance).

Frequently Asked Questions

2% General Wage Increase Effective Pay Period 2, 2023

The 2023 Budget approved a 2% general increase effective Pay Period 2, 2023 (January 8, 2023):

• Eligible non-represented General City Employees will receive an increase of 2% on base pay effective January 8, 2023.
• Pay Ranges for eligible non-represented titles in the City of Milwaukee Salary Ordinance have been increased by 2% effective Pay Period 2, 2023 (January 8, 2023).

Frequently Asked Questions

City of Milwaukee, Employ Milwaukee to Host Information Session on City Employment Opportunities

The City of Milwaukee Department of Employee Relations is partnering with Employ Milwaukee to host an Information Session on City Employment Opportunities on Thursday, September 29, 2022 from 3-6 p.m. at Employ Milwaukee Headquarters, located at 2342 N. 27th Street. 

Milwaukee job and skill seekers can learn about available positions with various City Departments. Department representatives will be on-hand to answer questions, including the following Departments: Public Works, Health, Public Library, Neighborhood Services, Water Works, Fire and Police. Dozens of job opportunities are available in the following areas: labor, water works, public health, customer service, safety, accounting, and more. 

Job seekers can also apply on-site at Employ Milwaukee’s computer lab. Human Resources representatives will be there to assist with applications. Attendees can also learn about what it’s like to work for the City of Milwaukee and the comprehensive benefits that are offered through City employment.

See Event Flyer Here. (Spanish version)

Milwaukee Common Council Confirms New DER Director

On July 12, 2022, the Milwaukee Common Council confirmed Mayor Cavalier Johnson’s appointment of the City’s Chief Human Resources Officer and Director of the Department of Employee Relations: Harper Donahue, IV. 

Donahue will lead the City’s human resource function and direct all DER divisions and operations. He will also serve as a member of the Mayor’s Cabinet.

Most recently, Donahue served as the Director of Human Resources for the City of Madison. He has worked for that city in various human resources roles over the past seventeen years. He is expected to begin his new role at the City of Milwaukee at the end of August.

Mayor Johnson Announces City Partnership with MENTOR Greater Milwaukee

On March 30, 2022, Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson and MENTOR Greater Milwaukee announced a partnership allowing City of Milwaukee employees the ability to mentor Milwaukee youth during the work day.

MENTOR Greater Milwaukee works with existing mentoring organizations, matching a caring adult with children in need through safe, effective mentoring programs. This "Mentoring Mindset" and partnership will provide a pathway for public servants to further serve Milwaukee youth.

City of Milwaukee employees are able to use a maximum of 32 hours of paid leave per fiscal year to mentor.

To become a mentor, register here. 

MENTOR Greater Milwaukee Volunteer Time Off Request & Verification Form

Ethics and Harassment Training for Elected Officials & Appointees

The Milwaukee Code of Ordinance states that each elected official and appointee shall complete ethics and harassment training provided by the Department of Employee Relations or its designee within 120 days of election or appointment to office. Note that "appointees" include members of the Mayor's cabinet and members of the following boards and commissions: the City Service Commission, the Fire and Police Commission, the Board of Review, the Board of Zoning Appeals, the City Plan Commission, the ERS Annuity and Pension Board, and the Standards & Appeals Commission.


The next training sessions are scheduled for the following dates.
Click on the links to register:

If you have any questions about this training, please email Aoife Roberts at [email protected] or dial x2108.

Additional Training Opportunities

Training sessions in FMIS (Financial Management Information Systems) for May 2024 can be found here.

Any City Employee who would like to learn FMIS is eligible for the training.

The City of Milwaukee is proud to employ a diverse workforce that is committed to providing exemplary service to the City’s residents. If you have a passion for being a part of an inclusive team of public servants and shaping the future of the City, please consider working with us!

Our 7,000 person workforce carries on the daily business of the City of Milwaukee, making our community stronger. What we do today shapes the Milwaukee of tomorrow.

Why work for the City of Milwaukee?

  • Make an Impact
  • Career Progression
  • Work-Life Balance
  • Passionate Environment
  • Stability
  • Comprehensive Benefits Program

What benefits do we offer?

  • Defined Benefit Pension Plan
  • Health & Dental Insurance
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Comprehensive Wellness Program
  • Onsite Clinic Services
  • Onsite Employee Assistance Program
  • Alternative Work Schedules
  • Long-term Disability Insurance
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Tuition Benefits
  • Paid Vacation
  • 12 Paid Holidays
  • Paid Sick Leave & other Paid Leaves
  • Flexible Spending Arrangement
  • Commuter Value Pass
  • National Award-Winning 457 Deferred Compensation Plan


Benefits at a Glance Handout

Search for Jobs

DNS Plan Examiner

Pursuant to federal, state and local regulations, Plan Examiners review plans, specifications, and other data for the construction of new structures and buildings and proposed alterations, additions, and repairs to existing structures and buildings and related mechanical systems.

Plan Examiners work in the Development Center for the Department of Neighborhood Services.

Join Milwaukee Water Works

The Milwaukee Water Works (MWW) is a national leader in providing high quality, healthful drinking water and comprehesive water quality monitoring.

The Water Treatment Plant Operators operate a water treatment plant and distribution pumping system to meet production requirements for high quality, sufficient drinking water, with a focus on pump, treatment and chemical filtration changes, plant integration and overall process control. 

Water Plants Machine Repair Personnel perform maintenance at MWW facilities.

Water Plant Steamfitters install and repair water mains, piping systems and valves, gauges, controls, and regulators in water treatment plants, pumping stations and booster stations.

Operations Driver/Worker

The Operations Driver/Workers provide professional driving and critical manual laboring functions, including municipal solid waste and recycling collection, street sweeping, snow and ice control, and heavy equipment operation for the Department of Public Works.

This position is critical to the cleanliness, health, and safety of the City, its residents, and visitors.

Information on Sanitation Services

Join the Home Environmental Health Team!

The Home Environmental Health Division of the City of Milwaukee Health Department consists of four complimentary programs that together aim to keep children and families healthy and safe:
- Lead Hazard Reduction
- Lead Surveillance & Response
- Healthy Homes
- Drinking Water Safety

More information on the Lead Safe Program can be found at www.leadsafeMKE.com.

Watch the video below to hear from those who work in Home Environmental Health and why the job is so important. 

Employee Resource Groups

An Employee Resource Group (ERG) is an employee group that has been formally recognized by the City and shares a common background, focus area, and set of interests/goals that foster an environment of inclusion.  Any City of Milwaukee employee can be a member of an ERG.

To start an ERG of your own, contact the Human Resources Compliance Officer at (414) 286-6210.


Learn More

MENTOR Greater Milwaukee

Providing access to quality mentors to Milwaukee's youth by strengthening the organizational capacity and caliber of mentoring organizations. 

In 2016, the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) funded a study to explore developing a Mentor Affiliate in Milwaukee. This group convened the Public Policy Forum (PPF) to conduct a study, “Mentoring in Milwaukee: Developing a Regional Mentoring Network." The study engaged more than 13 additional mentoring organizations in the strategic planning process. Following the study, it was determined that there is an unmet demand for quality mentors. As a result, the following organizations agreed to partner: Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee Bucks, and the City of Milwaukee.

One of the primary goals of Mentor Greater Milwaukee (MGM) will be to build capacity among agencies that are currently offering mentoring services and to increase collaboration among mentoring services by implementing an administrative component that will be able to coordinate recruitment and training efforts. 


Learn More 

If you are a City Employee who would like to be a mentor, click below to learn how the program works!

 City of Milwaukee Mentoring Form

This site is powered by the Northwoods Titan Content Management System