You can take a look around and realize pretty quickly you don’t need to be a meteorologist to determine it’s a miserable day. The word miserable really sums up relations between Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and the Memphis Police Association.
Mayor Strickland has a new insurance plan that will cover those who retired before the age of 65, but will also affect everybody else.They won’t have to pay for all of their health insurance, they’ll get subsidies.
But Memphis Police Association head Mike Williams says the plan has a high deductible and patients will have to pay a lot out of pocket. Is it better than nothing, he asks? Well, kind of. At least the Mayor thinks so.
“So what if you have to pay $1,100, it’s better than paying $1,600. Yeah, but its not that much better. We don’t want you to say I’m trying to fix this. We want you to really fix it,” said Williams.
The police and Memphis Firefighters Associations have been fighting for restoring the city’s old insurance policy, which was changed a few years ago by the city council, a city council that included current Mayor Jim Strickland.
It’s not just bugging retired officers, the changes.
“Please understand these young people,” Williams sais. “This is what they’re looking at come 25 years, if they do a career. So do you think this is what they want for themselves?”
Some of those officers were so upset a few years ago, they protested by calling in sick–the blue flu. Others left, and many continue to leave.
“This is going to become a training ground for individuals,” Williams said. “The new officers are coming here to train and we’re seeing it. They’re going to the Secret Service, the FBI, other departments. They’re taking expertise, because if you can work in this city, you can almost work anywhere. You’re very marketable,” said Williams.