Council Explores Labor Rule Rewrite

By Bill Dries

Memphis City Council members get their first look Tuesday, March 19, at a proposal to repeal the much amended impasse ordinance in place since the 1978 fire and police strikes.

At an 8:30 a.m. committee session, council members will discuss a proposal to replace the procedure for resolving impasses in contract talks between the city and municipal labor unions.

The full council meets at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St.

The impasse committee proposal specifically states that the council is not obligated to add funding for any expenditures that are the result of memoranda of understanding the city administration and a union might agree to short of a contract provision.

“All memoranda of understanding shall specifically state that the economic provisions of any such memoranda are expressly limited by expenditures set forth in the budgets duly established and approved by the council from time to time,” the proposal reads.

The three-member council impasse committee has a month from the time it gets the final offers of both sides at impasse to report its findings and its decision on the impasse to the full council.

That committee decision becomes the binding decision on both sides until or unless at least two council members formally move to veto the decision of the committee at one of the next two council sessions.

The council can either vote to accept what the committee has decided or it can approve the other last best offer that the impasse committee rejected under the proposal.

Also on the committee list Tuesday is a $750,670 appropriation for construction of a water detention basin on the athletic field at Snowden School including more drain inlets and other infrastructure on Tutwiler Avenue. ENSCOR LLC is doing the construction that is part of the Lick Creek drainage district in Midtown. The construction is funded from the city’s storm water enterprise fund.

The Lick Creek drainage work also includes construction of the new parking garage in the Overton Square entertainment district, which includes a water detention area at the bottom of the garage now under construction.

The city considered but never followed through with an earlier idea of turning part of the Overton Park greensward into a detention basin.

And council members get briefings at their 1:30 p.m. executive session on the Aerotropolis master plan as well as the Crosstown development.