Proposal leaves city employees unhappy with possible benefit reductions

Proposal leaves city employees unhappy with possible benefit reductions
(WMC-TV) - There's good news and bad news for city employees - the good news being the city plans to restore the 4.6 percent pay cut, but a reduction in benefits is becoming very real possibility.

"Right now we've got an immediate set of issues both in terms of the current year budget, the budget for next year," said City of Memphis CAO George Little.

At the request of the city council the city administrators produced a seven page document. Click here to see it.

A proposal to cut decrease benefits for city employees including reducing sick days and eliminating one of 13 paid holidays, and decreasing the amount of vacation and sick leave accrual.

"They're raping city employees," said President Memphis Police Association Michael Williams.

"This is not going to sit well with a lot of officers out on the street, I can tell you that," he continued. 

He said the union believes city services are being sacrificed for no reason, because the city has been offering tax breaks and pilots to big business while also pumping hundreds of millions into the pinch and elsewhere.

"We have made sacrifices. When is this going to stop," Williams said. 

"We're funding businesses at the expense of our citizens. I believe in economics development. However there has to be some type of shared sacrifice," he continued. 

But City of Memphis CAO George Little said the analogy doesn't fit.

"First of all, those are two different pots of money. It's rather like talking about a long term mortgage versus paying your week to week bills," said Little. 

"In effect, it's an investment, which we expect a return on, which is not to say that our employees haven't provided well for the city," said Little.

Little said the city council asked for a proposal.

What they've produced is now up for discussion.

Perhaps as early as the next council meeting this Tuesday.

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