Sammons seeks more money for city workers

Memphis cops are fuming over the City Council's veto of their raises, but tonight one city leader is holding out hope for a small concession.

While angry union leaders meet to determine their next move, Action News 5 has learned City Council Budget Chairman Jack Sammons is looking into whether the 500 or so city workers currently getting reimbursed for their college education can keep getting the money.

It was a major sticking point during Tuesday night's shootout over police raises, because the tuition repayments are slipping away too.

Soon the City of Memphis will only be paying up to $1500 per employee per year. It used to pay much, much more. It means city workers will have to come up with the difference, an unanticipated expense during tough times.

Documentation from the City's human resources division shows that - at most - the City will have to spend $2.7 million to keep paying what it's been paying.

The new plan will cut that amount dramatically, but it will hit city workers hard.

After losing their raises, police union leaders say keeping their college cash is critical. "That would be great," says union leader Tommy Turner. "We're here to do what's good for our membership. And the tuition reimbursement is really important to our younger membership."

It's something - they say - as opposed to nothing.

In some cases, the City has traditionally reimbursed thousands of dollars per year for employees. Sammons wants to know if the city can find the money to help get the current round of enrollees through graduation before dropping their repayment.