MPA union files grievance against Armstrong's actions - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

MPA union files grievance against Armstrong's actions

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Hours after Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong ordered three Memphis Police Association union officials back to the streets, the union struck back Friday with a formal grievance.

The formal grievance was filed Friday by the police union's attorney.

DOWNLOAD: Read Herman Morris letter with grievance
DOWNLOAD: Read the formal grievance letter

 This all started with an argument about crime numbers between union president Mike Williams and Director Armstrong. The argument has turned into a battle.

Clear lines have been drawn, with the union now firing back.

MORE: MPD officers assigned to MPA sent back to home precincts

Dozens of officers came to the Memphis Police Association Friday morning. The union attorney was there to talk strategy after the three elected union officers, who have been working full time at union, were ordered back out on patrol.

"I am still the president of the police association," Williams said Thursday evening. "You can't take that away."

Williams would not comment on any legal action that may result.

Late Friday afternoon the union's attorney filed an official grievance against the actions and threatened legal action if the officers are not returned to full time union duties.

City of Memphis Chief Administrative Officer George Little says the administration was aware of Director Armstrong's intentions and is supportive.

"We think the state law is pretty clear about public employees associations," Little said. "You can have an association but under Tennessee law you cannot have unions."

Sources say with pension reform and budget battles in the coming months, this is actually just the mayor union busting.

"I would hardly characterize asking someone to go back to the job the city has been paying them for as union busting," Little said.

The Wharton administration released the union officers Memphis Police salaries. Williams earns about $59,000  a year but works full time at the union. Williams said he will return to patrols Saturday, but won't stop union work.

"If you're going to be out here and if you're going to champion the cause for the men and women of the police association and the citizens of this city, you've got to understand that people are going to deter you," Williams said. "You're going to have setbacks."

Director Armstrong did not make himself available for an interview Friday.

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