Police union to highlight wage fight amid MLK commemoration

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Police Association says it’ll start a public campaign highlighting its wage fight with the mayor’s administration, as attention will be on the Tennessee city during next week’s 50th anniversary of the 1968 sanitation workers’ strike and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

The Commercial Appeal reports police union President Mike Williams didn’t detail the campaign Wednesday but said it’ll be visible during next week’s commemoration. Police union negotiating leader Matt Cunningham says a labor contract remains valid until 2021 but wages are up for re-negotiation this year.

Ursula Madden, a spokeswoman for Mayor Jim Strickland, says she was unsure if the city had responded to a pay increase proposal from the union.

A city web site says base salaries start at $40,200 for a recruit straight out of the police academy.