Panel may try to aid
fire, police talks
By Chris Conley
April 3, 2006
It's looking like a Memphis City Council impasse committee will be called
upon to intervene in a contract deadlock between city negotiators and
unions representing more than 3,500 police and firefighters.
Negotiations ended late Friday when the city offered no pay raises for the
next two years, Memphis Police Association (MPA) President Tommy Turner
Memphis Firefighters Association spokesman Joe Norman would not disclose
the exact terms offered by the city but said they were similar to what the
police union was offered.
Both firefighters and police made what they considered conciliatory
"We made as generous an offer to them as we could," Norman said.
In addition to wages, both unions are fighting limits on the amount the
city will reimburse their members for attending college classes.
Unions have ratification meetings scheduled for this weekend to officially
turn down the city's offers, spokesmen for both groups said.
The impasse committee will study the city's and the union packages and
make a recommendation to the full City Council.
Turner said the city made its offer with no raises shortly before the
midnight deadline Friday.
"It stinks," he said. "It was the biggest waste of time I've spent in my
Police and firefighters have no-strike clauses in their contracts.
The police were asking for 4 percent for each of the next two years but
most recently offered to take just 1 percent for this year in hopes the
city has a better financial footing by this time next year.
City negotiator attorney Louis Britt could not be reached for comment
-- Chris Conley: 529-2595
(c)2006 Commercial Appeal
- Memphis TN