Memphis council to consider hiring freeze - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis council to consider hiring freeze

By Jason Miles - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Snow has yet to melt outside Memphis City Hall.  It's where things may soon "freeze" inside as well.

"A hiring freeze until the end of the fiscal year," says councilman Jim Strickland.

Strickland is behind the new proposal.  It would keep about 250 open positions within city government from being filled.

"I want to exclude police, fire, emergency management, and community enhancement," says Strickland.  "Which is code enforcement," he adds.

Strickland says the hiring freeze does not need to be long-term.  Even a brief freeze could save the city big bucks.  But keeping the city moving next year will require more drastic measures.

"Maybe follow the FedEx model, where everybody takes a pay cut to save jobs," says Strickland.

"A job is better than no job," says Ruth Davis of AFSCME Local 1733.

Memphis AFSCME represents more than 3500 city employees.

"Whenever there's a crisis, it's always on the employee backs," says Davis.

But she says the union is more willing to compromise given the economic crisis.  However, it wants a seat at the table.

"Everybody wants the employees to understand," says Davis.  "But we'd like the employers to listen to our concerns and see what impact it has on the employees," she adds.

Strickland believes it's a time for everyone to make sacrifices.

"We need to do as much as we can to reduce our costs," says Strickland.

City government is no exception.

Action News 5 will attend Tuesday's council meeting.  Count on us to let you know what happens now and down the road.

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