Memphis police, fire win battle to restore their pay - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Memphis police, fire win battle to restore their pay

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Memphis Police and Fire's two-year battle with the city of Memphis came to an end on Tuesday night as city council restored the 4.6 percent it took away from both departments in 2011.

Police and fire officials wantBluff City  taxpayers to know, the money returned is worth the investment.

It was a packed room of support for Memphis police officers and firefighters.

"I'm actually happy they get it back because now it means if there's a fire or emergency they're going to come because if they didn't get it, they might be slow about coming," said taxpayer Charlotte Bailey.

Both fire and police made it very clear, they are servants of the city of Memphis. 

Police Association President Michael Williams says it was frustrating to fight for what was theirs in the first place.

"We had to fight two years for something that we deserved anyway, something that we had already negotiated," he said.

Memphis Fire Association President Thomas Malone says the money means public safety will not be compromised.

"The largest investment most people make, home and health will be protected that's what we do," Malone said.

The restoration will help on several levels including morale and staffing, Malone added.

"When they have to come from further distance away for a fire here, then you've created another hole over here so you have a constant hole being created by the void," he said.

Both fire and police officials agree while the restoration is a long time coming. They also admit the satisfaction is only temporary.

"We're going to have to deal with the insurance," Williams said. "They're going to try to increase our insurance and say that the pension fund is under funded."

For now Williams and Malone say the deal is bittersweet, but hope taxpayers know they stand by their job to serve and protect, even though they were forced to fight for what they say was rightfully theirs.

The 4.6-percent will officially be restored on Monday, July 1.

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