In Memphis tension between the city unions and the city administration over proposed impasse changes have reached the boiling point.
Eight unions representing city of Memphis employees have joined together and put up electronic billboards such as one along Interstate 240 West near the Getwell exit. It says stop the repeal of the impasse ordinance.
“We are trying to come together because there is an attack on the unions in the city. It’s not just the police association, but all of the city unions,” Mike Williams, the president of the Memphis Police Association, said.
Councilman Kemp Conrad has been critical of the Memphis Police Association’s murder rate billboards, and is critical of the latest effort to protest the cuts.
“These are the same people who put up billboards that jeopardize police officers and hold the city back trying to scare people. I don’t put much credence is what the police association says. I wonder what police officers say who stand to get raises?” Conrad said .
But the unions are standing firm that the city’s proposed changes are unfair to their members.
“They want to have the ability to implement whatever they want to implement and not necessarily the will of the people, and that’s where we have a problem,” Mike Williams said.
Conrad threw down the gauntlet when he said, “It sounds like Mike Williams has already kicked off his Mayoral campaign for 2019. The ordinance sponsored by myself and Councilman Ford is purely procedural in nature and is not an attack on anyone. Mr. Williams who has to create a crisis every week to justify his existence, continues to bamboozle city employees into paying him dues so he can waste their hard earned money on billboards to pad his ego and build name recognition for his next race.”
Williams says to expect the unions to become more vocal as negotiations continue.