Memphis firefighters and retirees are in a fight for their benefits. The City of Memphis has decided to stop paying insurance for their firefighters.
- Basic Plan Family premiums will rise from $320.05 per month to $921.90; an annual cost of $11,062.80.
- Premier Plan premiums rise from $334.32 per month to $1,328.19; an annual cost of $15,938.28.
Retirees will pay 100% of their insurance premiums.
I am all for revitalization and projects that will ultimately make a City a better place. However, I am not for doing it at the expense of the very people who keep that City safe…it’s firefighters and police officers. There is a reason why fire and police are considered “essential services”.
A Facebook group has been created to discuss and share information pertaining to this issue. Check out I Have Been Negatively Affected by The City Of Memphis Council Vote!! on FB.
Memphis City Council approved the 2015 budget with massive cuts to employee and retiree health insurance.
Employees say they can’t survive day-to-day with a 24 percent hike in health insurance premiums. Retirees say they can’t live paying 100 percent of their premiums.
On the other hand, the city administration says the city’s bank account will go bust, taxes will go up and city services will be cut, if they don’t make adjustments to pay off pension debt and close the budget gap.
Union leaders say the city puts projects like the bike lanes before employees.
Memphis budget cuts prompted a powerful photo shoot, but city employees say there’s nothing pretty about their new benefits. Firefighters posed in front of Memphis landmarks with carefully-worded signs, but in the end, Memphis may be the place some of them decide to leave.
In full gear, firefighters hold signs that say “people over profit” and “will work for health care and benefits.” But they say they’re not mocking the homeless in these photos, just using similar signs to send a message.
“And once I saw them, I felt they were pretty powerful. I think it says a lot,” retired firefighter Henry Posey said.