LR Cops, Firefighters Urge Board to Increase Pay

LITTLE ROCK, AR — Public employees including police and firefighters packed a Little Rock city council meeting Tuesday to push for pay increases.

The move came after city officials voted last month to switch insurance policies, saving the city millions of dollars next year.

Public employee unions say they were hopeful the savings would be passed along to them, but say they’ve been notified that’s not going to happen.

The vice president of the Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police spoke during the meeting, telling officials that officers already have been hit once when insurance policies where changed for just over 1,900 city employees.

Because of the savings, the unions say the city is on better financial footing.

“If the sky was falling I would certainly go to the members and explain the budgetary restraints,” said Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police Vice President John Gilchrist. “It is our position that the sky is no longer falling,”

Now covered under the Arkansas Municipal League, city employee unions say their members will pay high deductibles and have less coverage.