Pay raise approved for all Memphis city employees - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Pay raise approved for all Memphis city employees

(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

All Memphis city workers are getting a raise.

Memphis City Council passed a 2 percent pay raise for fire and police employees. All other city workers will receive a 1 percent pay raise.

"We are negotiating and talking with employees, and I think it was the right result," Mayor A C Wharton said.

Wharton said it was a tough decision, but the increases were the best the city could do.

However, police and fire union leaders said the payroll vote shortchanged their members.

"The credibility of this administration and this council today just went south," Fire Fighters Association representative Thomas Malone said.

Memphis Police Association asked for a 3 percent pay raise. While that proposal passed a city council committee, the full council refused to pass a raise of that amount.

Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams told council members a 2 percent raise is not enough in 2015.

"You are taking us back to pre-1978," Williams said. "Right now, it's almost like slavery, and I'm not talking black or white. I'm talking economic slavery."

Councilwoman Janice Fullilove, one of four members who voted against the amount allotted for the raises, called the process a farce.

"I never thought I would say this in my life, but I am so sorry to be on this council with many of you," Fullilove said.

The news also upset Memphian Fran Triplett, the wife of a Memphis police officer. Triplett said she and her friend April Beckham crunched budget numbers last year and came up with a proposal that allowed more money for city employees.

"I think a 2 percent for police officers doesn't touch what they do," Triplett explained. "Besides, they have increased our insurance 24 percent."

City finance officials said the total sum of all the money for the raises comes to approximately $3.1 million. Still, some city employees said the sum should be higher.

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