Vehicle inspection workers find themselves in limbo - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Vehicle inspection workers find themselves in limbo

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(WMC-TV) - The Tennessee takeover of Memphis vehicle inspections is now in limbo and workers are wondering what to do next.

The city voted to drop inspections forcing the state to take over the service. That means that everyone in Shelby County could soon be required to get vehicle inspections.

But the City of Memphis says they learned the state will not be ready to take over by June 30 when the city's funding stops. That also leaves a controversial severance package in limbo.

The city council was supposed to consider severance money for the workers on Tuesday.

Some thought it would be unfair if workers got lump money and were then rehired by the state to run inspections. Others feel the workers are suffering a casualty of an effort to save $2 million in city costs each year.

As the city negotiates with the state, more than 50 employees do not know if they should interview for new jobs or stay put.

In fact, the workers say they are more concerned about a decision being made than the severance package.

"It's all about them being able to take care of their families and they really don't like the feeling of being in limbo," said Gail Tiree, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

"Whether individuals will qualify for the severance package and ultimately be rehired is a detail we work out if we actually come to that. It's a hope that we won't," said Memphis Chief Administrative Officer George Little.

The decision will be delayed 30 days.

Until then, Memphis citizens will be required to get inspections as usual.

Those living in the county, who are not currently required to get inspections, may still have to pay up starting July 1 because the city says the state may negotiate an agreement to take up some of the costs or it might take over the operation altogether.

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