MPA pay package approved in committee - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MPA pay package approved in committee

(WMC-TV) - At an impasse hearing Friday in front of a three-member city council committee, the Memphis Police Association and the city administration sparred over pay raises for police and other city employees.

"In treating our employees the way we have, we are going to lose qualified police officers," said MPA attorney Deborah Godwin.

In 2011, the city cut police pay by 4.6 percent. In this year's budget, the city is proposing reinstating half.

"And to increase the salary amount by 4.6 ultimately, the administration believes may result in a reduction of services unless it can find other revenue streaming areas," said City of Memphis attorney Jill Madajczyk.

While the MPA wants back all of it, the council committee voted two to one to approve the MPA's proposal. The dissenting vote was from councilman Kemp Conrad.

"I think I'd rather have more people working perhaps at a little bit of a lower rate than give everybody 2.3% more than have to lay off 100 people. That's going to be a real option now," said Conrad.

Councilmen Myron Lowery and Bill Boyd voted for the MPA proposal.

"That's a very, very tough situation, which I have never agreed with," said Boyd.

Though never on board with the pay cut, Boyd admonished the police union for putting up controversial billboards. He claimed they damaged the city's image.

MPA president Mike Williams said the MPA had to do something to capture the city's attention, and may have succeeded.

"We definitely appreciate what the committee has done," said Williams."We're just hoping that their recommendation to the full council will be also looked upon favorably by the full council."

The full 13-member city council must vote on this issue during a budget hearing throughout May.

Every city employee took 4.6 percent pay cut in 2011. Other unions are fighting to get it back, too.

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