Shelby County unions propose cuts to paid leave - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Shelby County unions propose cuts to paid leave

By Nick Kenney - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Some Shelby County employees learned Friday they can expect a cut in paid leave.  Showing a unified front, representatives from the four unions in Shelby County publicized their ideas for fixing the county's sick leave policy.

The proposal will not apply to sick leave already banked.

"We believe that this is a fair proposal for us Shelby County Workers," said Quianita Parker of AFSCME Local 1733.

The proposal in the three-page document decreases the amount of possible accumulated leave, abolishes so-called bonus days, creates a perfect attendance incentive, and establishes an emergency sick leave bank for employees to donate sick days to co-workers in emergencies.

"We live here," said Dan Chapman of the Deputy Sheriff's Association. "We pay property taxes here. We participate in the local economic situation. We're all willing to make sacrifices that are reasonable."

But Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter says the union's proposal isn't enough.

"The truth is, it's not really a change of any significance," he said.

According to Carpenter, Shelby County is already on the hook for $37 million dollars worth of sick leave, $26 million of which is already banked.

"We have to make a change, and we have to make a significant change," he said. "We know that employees don't like to have this leave cut, but it's expensive benefit. and we need to be able to deal with that."

Union leaders in Shelby County say they agree, and argue their proposal is the best means to that end.

"This simple and straightforward proposal provides common sense solutions that'll make Shelby County more fiscally sound," Parker said.

The sick leave policy is on the county commission agenda on Wednesday.  You can read the complete proposal by clicking here.

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