Memphis city HR director says an impasse 'certain' - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis city HR director says an impasse 'certain'

Quintin Robinson (Source: WMC Action News 5) Quintin Robinson (Source: WMC Action News 5)

City of Memphis Human Resources Director Quintin Robinson says an impasse is "certain."

Robinson says the city's seven unions collectively want benefit packages that would total more than $40 million and that the city does not have that kind of money.

The unions say employees cannot live off of the cuts to employee health care benefits.

Unions met with city leaders around noon. All seven meetings lasted an average of six minutes with the city delivering the same proposal they offered weeks ago.

"This is a disservice to the citizens and the city employees," Memphis Police Association president Mike Williams said. "There has been no negotiating."

Union leaders are inside conference rooms drawing up counter-offers, but it's likely all in vain.

Unions want benefits restored. The city says they cannot afford it.

The city says it will cost $41 million dollars to cover what the unions want covered.

"We don't have that kind of money sitting around," Quintin Robinson said.

Both sides might not agree on what should be paid for, but they can agree that there won't be a compromise before the 11:59 p.m. deadline.

"I don't understand why 13 members of this council aren't raising holy Cain right now that they've got to do the administration's job," Memphis Fire Association president Thomas Malone said.

Council Chairman Myron Lowery says in the event of an impasse, the council will compare final offers from both sides and pick the best one.

He says it would have been in the mayor's best interest to do the job himself.

"Why put the burden on the council where he knows there will be criticism from some members who are running for his job?" Lowery said.

Meanwhile, citizens wish the city would get on with other pressing matters.

"We need to be concentrating on youth crime," Judy Conway said.

Assuming neither side caves to a last-minute deal, there will be a seven day cool off period before city council steps in and makes a ruling.

Stay with WMC Action News 5 to see what happens.

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