The unions are asking that a federal judge stop the City of Memphis from implementing a 4.6% salary decrease. They claim the city violated its own impasse ordinance by cutting workers pay. An attorney for the unions wasn't available on camera. But says it's a violation of city workers rights.
"Our premise at the beginning was it was better for folks to have an age opt-out with some benefits rather than have a greater number of city employees with jobs."
City CAO, George Little says if the unions are successful, the city will have to find tens of millions of dollars. Money they say they didn't have when they were balancing the budget and decided to make cuts in order to save jobs. When asked if a pay cut reversal would mean more than the 100 or so layoffs already made, Mayor AC Wharton had trouble uttering the words.
"Uh..... yes, yes."
The administration says some three hundred people could stand to lose their jobs if the reversal is granted. They say other alternatives would require making adjustments to city services or possibly reducing the city's reserves. However Wharton and Little agree that with the worlds financial climate as it is today, that could do more harm than good.
"The city wants to remain in a strong as possible financial position so that we're not adversely impacted in the financial markets by the decisions we make."