Two Year Fight Could Cost Taxpayers Millions

Two Year Fight Could Cost Taxpayers Millions

A two year fight that could cost taxpayers millions of dollars could possibly end soon.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - A two year fight that could cost taxpayers millions of dollars could possibly end soon.

In 2011 some Memphis police officers sued the city over their pay being cut by 4.6%.

They argued the city's actions violated the contract. Now, even though the city council got rid of the pay cut this year, the workers could get everything retroactive from July of two years ago.

The city and the unions are now in mediation. It's a way that hopefully can bring both sides together to work out a deal.

“It would be millions of dollars that we just don't have,” city council member Jim Strickland said. “The recession hit in 2008 and the city hasn't really recovered, because our tax base is static. We have thousands of people moving out of the city, businesses moving out of the city. But our tax bas has not grown, yet our expenses have increased.”

Two years ago the city's budget was a mess and the only way to get one approved was to cut pay for police and fire and other city union employees. It was the famous 4.6% pay cut. A lawsuit was filed that same year by workers, who claimed what the city did was illegal.

Now, it is in mediation and the unions could get the pay cut money restored all the way back to July of two years ago.

“We were told there was no legal consequence following the mayors budget in cutting their pay. So, this would be a huge surprise if they try to settle and give this money away,” Strickland said.

Right now, both sides have been told to keep quiet. No talking to us or to anybody about the negotiations. Mediators often do this in order to try and get a settlement.
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