No decision on city workers’ healthcare or pension plans

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Time is running out for Memphis to decide on how to spend your tax money, and the people in charge don't seem to be in a hurry.

A budget must be ready in less than a month, and council members already passed on recommending any sort of changes to health care or pension plans.

Mayor A C Wharton's administration laid it all on the line Tuesday. They said the bottom line is either benefits will be cut or taxes will go up.

Tuesday's city council meeting was a war of words over healthcare and pension plan talks for Memphis city workers.

Council member Joe Brown said, "The administration has brought something to the table that is so fraudulent, that it's corruptible in nature."

For a change, all council members agreed on something - none of them like Mayor Wharton's plan to increase how much city workers will have to pay for healthcare, or insurance surcharges for spouses and tobacco use.

City Council Chairman Jim Strickland said, "We probably need an increase in insurance premiums, but it can't be 57 percent."

Council members also talked about the controversial idea to move city workers with less than ten years on the job off the typical pension plan and onto a more defined 401K type system.

"That decision will actually be made after this budget vote, which is in two weeks," Strickland said.

With arguments flying back and forth, nothing was voted on.

A decision on healthcare got pushed back two weeks.

Either way, City Administrator George Little said something must give. Taxes are going up or benefits are going down.

"This year we have an $11 million deficit. Next year that deficit will go to $23 million. I will point out we have a ruling from the state of Tennessee saying, we've got to cover that tab as we go."

Council members say they pushed back talks on the insurance plans to allow more citizens to weigh in on the decision.


  • kay

    I think the first step would be to CUT CUT CUT the salaries of those in Wharton’s staff that sit around and do nothing in an air conditioned building all day with 100,000 a year. That salary is BS. Firemen and police officers will never make that type of money and yes, they asked for the job, and yes, it is dangerous but they like the job and they support their families by working two jobs, etc… cut the top wheels salary and benefits. They get a pension too, Wharton will have two pensions upon retirement plus attorney $$$ he and wife earn, cut his salary, cut his benefits. Fire and police officers, if you are young and have no ties here, leave while you can, walk away NOW. It will only get worse. If benefits are cut, cut Wharton’s first and in fact, he should OFFER to have his salary cut, I am sure he and the wife can live on much less.

  • Bill

    Here’s 10 things I’ll do when I’m elected mayor;
    1. Cut 10% of the City work force
    2. Reduce all 6 figure salaries to 5.
    3. Freeze Property Taxes for my term
    4. Have rolling Curfews for high crime neighborhoods by Zip codes.
    5. De-annex Hickory Hill and Cordova.
    6. Stop the Minority requiremenrs for City bids.
    7. Create a City Department that inspects all Rental properties(like a home inspector) for renters. The fee is paid by the Landlords.
    8. Vacant properties are taxed at 2X the current property tax rates. Vacant means an occupancy rate of less than 80% per address for a Calendar year.
    9. Reduce the MATA routes by 50% and make Tuesdays a ride free day for all Memphians.
    10. No new development contracts for Developers.

  • Former MPD...........................

    This is what you get when democrats run a city for decades. Memphis is the next Detroit……………….

  • Claire H

    Eliminate ALL appointed jobs. There are pages and pages of appointed jobs and a lot of them are in the library system. Reduce salaries for those who are making exorbitant salaries. Do not reduce benefits. The salaries are not very good for the “rank and file” worker. Only “special” people make good salaries.

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