City makes changes to sick policy due to Blue Flu

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. --New changes have been made to the city of Memphis sick leave policy due to the Blue Flu epidemic taking place.

The changes were announced during an afternoon news conference that started with by Mayor A C Wharton thanking police officers who have shown up to work.

As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 550 MPD employees had called in sick.

Mayor Wharton said the city does not condone sick-outs and all employees are expected to follow the sick leave policy.

"Corrective action, if necessary, will be taken," he said.

"It's unfair to those employees honoring their obligations," Wharton added.

CAO George Little announced changes to the MPD city sick policy, which now closely resembles the sick policy for most city employees.

Employees are now required to call in sick daily, rather than just on the first day as in the past.

Little also stressed those who do call in sick must tell their supervisor what part of their job they cannot complete and they must call in two hours prior to a shift.

Those who are out more than three days will need a note from a doctor and will be sent paperwork to start the short-term disability process.

Employees are expected to tell their supervisor where they will be, and to be available for an in-person or phone check by a supervisor.

Wharton said no city employee or retiree will go without medical care.

"Benefits are being changed, but they are not being taken away," he said.

When asked if he considered the sick calls a strike, Mayor Wharton said, "I'm not putting a label on it. You heard the numbers, they are not coming to work."

"Leave no doubt about it, we do not condone what is taking place. Let's get back around the table," Wharton said.

The department has cancelled all regular days off and vacation days until further notice.

Both Director Toney Armstrong and Little said they will make accommodations for officers who have financial obligations to planned vacations.

"When it comes to the safety of the citizens of Memphis, we will do whatever is necessary," Wharton said.

A man in the crowd asked, "With those actively and/or seeking other jobs, what happens when the numbers out sick become the number who have gone?"

Mayor Wharton admitted that concerns him.

Click HERE to find out how much more employees and retirees will pay for insurance.

Several protestors filled the Hall of Mayors where the news conference was held. Several people held signs demanding full benefits be restored.

Toward the end of the news conference Mayor Wharton protestors started shouting questions at Wharton and he did take several of those questions.



    You big dummy! In my Fred Sanford voice!!!!!!! What did you think that they would do? You don’t care about them so in return we get punished in this awful society that you call a city!!!!!!!!!! #fixthatwharton

  • IwishUwould

    What happened to the 57million the courts ordered the city to pay the schools, that AC got on TV and said was in the Bank drawing interest… Then they turned around and gave up the charter to keep from paying it.. Where is the money the City employee’s paid into the pension and do they get it back. Also why isn’t anyone questioning the City’s CFO Gorge Little about what happened to the money. In my opinion there need’s to be a Federal investigation at the Federal level.. Someone has been steeling seems to me.

  • hang-em-high

    There will be no one to maintain the zoo. Good citizens of Memphis load up, oh I forgot they all moved south.

  • Interesting

    Thanks for holding the officers accountable for their actions. As for benefits, everyone is paying more for insurance. Can someone explain why police officers should expect their insurance to remain the same ?? At best, there are numerous professions who call for individuals to put their lives on the line to provide a service everyday. Honestly, I have law enforcement members and have the highest respect for them.

    • Think about it first

      Well if your insurance in retirement went from 300 and something to 1600 dollars for no good reason you might have a vastly different perspective. Especially after you lost your home.

    • Stay Informed

      It’s not just police that are being affected. Here’s a break down of the health care changes. Rates are going up everywhere, but could you afford a $1300/month increase for insurance on a fixed income? That is what a retiree, under 65, will have to face for family insurance.

      Here is how healthcare benefits for current city employees will change according to information from the City of Memphis:

      There will be a 24% premium increase, though a 57% hike was originally proposed.

      Those who smoke will pay more.

      Spouses will not be covered if their employer offers insurance.

      Currently, a single employee pays $175 for the Premier plan per month and a family would pay $355. The new rate will be $218 for a single person and $440 for a family.

      How retirees are affected:

      City of Memphis retirees have received a subsidy to reduce their cost.

      That subsidy has been eliminated for those who retired before reaching the age of 65 and those who retired after turning 65 and are eligible for Medicare.

      Currently, a single, post 65 retiree pays $365. The new rate will be $452.

      A single employee who retired before reaching age 65 currently pays $184 for the premium plan, that will increase to $836. For a family, the current cost is $365 for the premier plan, but with the loss of their subsidy they will pay $1,656.

      City leaders have said they will continue subsidies to those retirees who do not qualify for Medicare

      • MS

        Doesn’t really matter if we are cops. What matters is that we are taxpayers of the city of memphis. This resolution was approved by the representatives elected by those taxpayers. If the taxpayers are unhappy, they should elect new leaders. If the cops are unhappy, they should find employment elsewhere. I honestly hope the administration goes door to door to check on these “sick” officers.

        Part of the MPD’s contract states that they will not strike as that would pose a risk to public safety (the very thing they swore to protect). This is a way around it, but they should be prepared to face punishement for using that way around.

      • TPA

        Arrogant A-hole ain’t cha…you sound like one of those cops that keep getting arrested in Memphis.

    • IKeepTheWolfAwayFromYou

      How about this? Join the police academy, pass a very strict background check, put on a uniform kiss your family good by and go arrest killers, child molesters, drunk drivers praying that the next person you stop won’t try to kill you. Then if you make it home safe wonder if the compensation and public anger towards you it’s well deserved.

      • Michael

        Well hopefully the officers that are actually still doing their jobs will be able to make it home safely considering the burden those shirking their responsibilities are putting on them. Maybe all the police officers should consider each other’s safety as much as they seem to be considering their wallets. They have a responsibility to their fellow officers and the communities they have sworn to serve and protect. If these officers want sympathy from the people, maybe they should show the people they actually care about their safety even if they think the government doesn’t care about them.

  • faraboverubies912

    When you are promised something the promise should never be broken! Memphis police and firemen have been promised something for their years of work and their years of retirement. If you working a job that has promised you certain benefits are you going to stay in that job are you going to try to find a way out? Memphis police and firemen put their lives on the line daily for your safety I understand other professions also put their lives on the line and there’s benefits change but that is their choice not to do anything about it and stand up for themselves. My grandfather was a retired fireman my dad and his two brothers are current fireman and my brother is a police officer they deserve the benefits I was promised to them. And the funny thing is your mayor AC Wharton is dancing around all the questions instead of just coming out and giving straight answers! The complaint is not about if they’re going to be covered Memphis police officers and firemen understand they will be covered. The complaint is that the cost if a man that worked 25 years on the fire department only makes $1200 a month and has to pay an $800 premium a month how is he going to live off of that? Can you live on 400 a month? Our firemen are police officers wake up every morning and put their lives on the line for you! Shame on the ones who do not support out fireman and policemen! I hope this “blue flu” opens people eyes to who this city has in charge! I know who is not getting my vote for mayor!

  • Shame On You

    Raising it a little? Please!! The retirees now have to pay 100% of their premiums. Can you live on $200 a month? That won’t even cover their medication in some instances. They are too old or too sick and injured to find work elsewhere now. The City promised to take care of them. Now the City has bailed on them but kept their own benefits, pay, and cars intact. Shame!!!!

  • Chris Freeman

    When u have a job that you can die on your first day, I think healthcare is very important. Being a first responder is not like any other job. Their lives are on the line everyday for other people. It is completely selfless service. They deserve better.

  • Council Clowns

    As long as an officer is home during his or her duty hours and doesn’t exceed the maximum amount of occurrences per 1 2months there is NOTHING that can be done to them.

  • Its Time

    Do y’all see how quick he (wharton) changed the sick policy? And they say, whats has been done can’t be undone. I usually don’t listen to Otis Sanford, but he spoke the truth about AC and the 7 dwarfs.

  • canadianwhiskeygirl

    U know, when the city got hold of extra money, why didnt wharton and armstrong divy it up and give out bonuses or raises to deserving city employees instead of wasting it on stupid “pet projects” that cost entirely too much to bother with! they likely also gave themselves another raise! u wont hear warton nor armstrong complain about lack of benefits or money because i seriously doubt all these “changes” will affect them.

  • Claire H

    Unfortunately, the city and her official are a joke. If the officials aren’t corrupt, they are stupid. This city has been horribly mismanaged for thirty plus years. What I love is before they manipulated the school fiasco, they blamed the county residents for all their problems. The county residents do not pay enough taxes, the county residents don’t do this or that. I guess they forgot that the majority of the county residents pay taxes to whatever city they live in. Now they are laying their money woes on the backs of their employees. Enough is enough. Quit funding private projects (Redbird stadium, Sears Crosstown, Lemoyne Owen College, Slave Haven Museum, etc…….. Quit lining your own pockets, think, and above all do your job properly. Do what is good for the citizens of Memphis and not what is good for you.

  • James

    The mayor is looking for suggestions. Why don’t you resign you peice of garbage? And take that lump of S**T George Little with you. You ran the county into the ground when you were mayor and now you have done the same with the city. Why isn’t all the kickbacks given to the 7 stooges ever talked about? Kemp Conrad is going to benefit from Sears Crosstown and the Flinn family through boradcasting rights at Autozone Park. I pray that federal agenices are looking closely and will intervene.

  • KT1128

    I support the MPD and MFD because they have a very dangerous job to preform, not all of them are honest police officers but most of them are. As for there sick policy it should have been changed some time ago, if they didn’t have to have a doctor’s note after being off work for 3 days, then that it self is a problem, almost every jobs requires a statement after 3 sick days.

  • MOM

    Mayor Wharton said the city does not condone sick-outs and all employees are expected to follow the sick leave policy. “It’s unfair to those employees honoring their obligations,” Wharton added.
    “Leave no doubt about it, we do not condone what is taking place. Let’s get back around the table,” Wharton said. UNBELIEVABLE. Many of us, if not most, do not condone the actions of your Mayor Wharton. Since when do you care about fairness (what is right)? Can you please get off the fence and stand up for whatever it is you really stand for? Be who you are.


    Federal government forced employers to provide insurance for employees or face a fine. Meanwhile local government votes to cut it bc they cant afford it…anyone else confused? I SUPPORT MPD /MFD!

  • L Pyles

    So at what point does AC make changes to HIS lifestyle? You know, like driving around in a $1500/mo LEASE vehicle?

  • I.hate.ignorance

    It’s sad that people are bashing our police officers and firefighters . You people don’t see how corrupt these city officials and how they are using taxpayer money to fill their pockets. Yes, the private sector has suffered increases too but honesty how many of you will actually consider doing what they do for a living. They don’t make a lot of money for the kind of job they do, the least they can get is good benefits. This mayor wants to take their pension and put them in a 401k and not pay into social security. They claim not to have money but look at the millions they’re spending on useless projects. If nothing is done public safety will be at risk. They will have to lower the bar again and hire these officers that end up in the news. If you look at the officers that have been arrested they were officers who got in will a high school diploma and GED. The changed that policy quickly and realized that college and/or military is a must for this job. If they take away their benefits who else will be willing to do these dangerous jobs will weak pay and weak benefits when there are safer cities across America who pay better and offer better benefits. These officers have seen a lot and are experienced. There is a a reason why Austin PD and Aurora police came to Memphis seaking to recruit our officers. But you people forgot about that. Unless you’re willing to do their job you shouldn’t bash on these officers. I am glad they did what they did and I hope it works, if not we can expect to see a lower quality in officers in the years to come. If that’s what you people want you’re just plain ignorant.

  • idiots

    How can they just up and change a personnel policy?! And if someone is off sick and not there to receive the updated policy, then how can they try to enforce the new policy? Seems like the new policy was put in place to punish–but how can you expect them to know about it if they aren’t there?! They may be sick in bed and not watching the news :)

  • utmman

    As with most other policies with this and any government entity, the sick leave policy needs to be changed for it is far too lenient, not even to mention very poorly supervised. I know from experience. Ironically, how often have we heard over the years that they, the government, needs to be competitive with private business on issues like salary, hiring, benefits, etc., yet they come up with a sick leave policy that no company would allow if it wanted to be profitable.

  • Kathy

    I think we can treat them like the air traffic controllers. The 500 plus we are doing without can stay out…

  • Orange Mound Slim

    This is what happens when you put a house ni66a in charge and he thinks he is white. All the house ni66as runnin to massa. Them field ni66as still cant get a break now the house ni66a takin from the white man.

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