Impasse Committee Votes to Restore Police Pay Cut

Impasse Committee Votes to Restore Police Pay Cut

A Memphis City Council contract impasse committee has voted against Mayor A C Wharton's administration and approved restoring the 4.6 percent pay cut for police.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Memphis police officers might get a Christmas present early. The first step toward getting that gift happened at City Hall Friday morning.

A Memphis City Council contract impasse committee has voted against Mayor A C Wharton's administration and approved restoring the 4.6 percent pay cut for police.

This was a fight for the Memphis Police Association, but wasn't just them. All the other unions were watching.

The arguments from both sides have been heard before. Wharton's administration says the money for restoring the full 4.6 percent pay cut isn't there; it's not that he doesn't like law enforcement.

"This city and administration has always had a commitment to public safety," stated Jill Madajczyk with Memphis City Government.

The police union says all they want is what was promised to them last year.

"We are not begging for a raise," said Deborah Godwin, attorney for the Memphis Police Association. "We're here to request you give back what was wrongfully taken away two years ago."

Council members Bill Boyd and Myron Lowery voted for the unions. Kemp Conrad voted against the police and in favor of the city's plan. It's nothing personal, he says.

"In a perfect world I'd like to give the police more money, but just them. Not the rest of city government right now. We have to start prioritizing. We can't treat every employee equally anymore."

That's precisely how Councilman Bill Boyd feels, and precisely why Boyd voted to restore the police officers' pay cut.

"The police department, they're the first ones to respond and so forth, and they just have the toughest job."

MPA President Mike Williams concluded, "We're encouraged by what the committee has said and recommended. And we hope the council takes their recommendations as it should be."

The city council still has the final yea or nay on this issue, and I'll be watching.

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