Memphis City Council Table Impasse Ordinance

(Memphis) Councilman Shea Flinn didn’t have many supporters to his proposed changes to the city’s impasse ordinance in a council committee meeting Tuesday morning.

“It keeps the budget power of the council which is the prerogative and territory of the legislative branch completely whole as opposed to giving it away to a negotiation that we are not party to,” said Flinn.

One of the changes Flinn wants to make is making it clear that the city council has final authority to decide on economic issues that will impact the budget.

Right now, city administration and the employee associations negotiate and try to come to an agreement.

If an agreement isn’t reached the city council can decide on a plan from the labor unions or the administration.

Flinn wants the ordinance to make it clear that the council has final say, “All of those negotiations are subject to budgetary approval of the council.”

Labor associations do not like the changes.

“It would really make a mockery of the whole impasse procedure,” said attorney for the Memphis Police Association Deborah Godwin.

“It gives the council the right now to say if we don’t like the city’s side, if we don’t like the union’s side, we’re going to make our own side,” said Thomas Malone from Memphis Firefighters Association.

Committee members voted to table the ordinance and form a subcommittee to debate the issue.

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