Unions walk out of meeting with City - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Unions walk out of meeting with City

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Union leaders walked out of a meeting with the City of Memphis on Thursday and no further sit-downs have been scheduled with just a few months before the Memphis Police contract expires.

MORE: City workers face cuts with budget deficit looming

This was the very first meeting to negotiate the expiring contract. The union has already purchased ad time on TV for a commercial letting citizens know what's going on.

The dispute is over proposals to cut paid time off and pension benefits for city workers. It's further complicated by the looming court case over the 4.6% pay cut last year. That lawsuit is pending in federal court, so it can't be a part of talks.

The city worker's contract ends June 31. But, if an agreement can't be reached, going on strike is not an option of Memphis Police.

"They want their cake and eat it too. That's what they want.  They want to hold the no strike ordinance over our head, but at the same time, they don't want to fulfill obligations the citizens made to the employees.  That's crooked to me," says President of the Memphis Police Association Mike Williams.

City CAO George Little adds, "We've got to have some way to pay for the restoration of the 4.6 percent, we're also looking at leave or attendance or other matters, making sure what they city is going is in line with what other governments and corporate entities are doing."

Little says the Mayor is committed to restoring all or part of the city worker's pay cut from last year.

No follow-up meetings have been scheduled.

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