City employees, supporters clash with Memphis City Council - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

City employees, supporters clash with Memphis City Council

No matter how unpopular with some, another big issue is the city's pension system. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) No matter how unpopular with some, another big issue is the city's pension system. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - Memphis city employees and supporters started the day with a rally in front of city hall, then saved their most fiery comments for the council.

Memphis Fire dispatcher Chett Hopper demanded the council's undivided attention as he joined others speaking about city employee benefits.

A council vote two weeks ago slashed healthcare benefits for retirees like Nancy Long's husband.

"Now he has to go to the VA because the premium went up $1,000 and you dropped me," said Long.

Councilwoman Wanda Halbert attempted to get the issue back on the table..

"I am wanting the council to ultimately reconsider the vote that was made two weeks ago," said Memphis City Council's Wanda Halbert.

But a 6 to 6 vote (with one absence), meant Halbert's effort went nowhere.

"I think it's critical that we made a vote as a council regarding an issue we still don't have full disclosure of," said Halbert.

Others stand behind the decision to cut benefits, as does an administration who deemed it a necessity.

"I have wonderful family who's been directly affected by this -- people who've worked their entire lives," noted one attendee.

No matter how unpopular with some, another big issue is the city's pension system. But the council decided to delay voting on proposed changes until October.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

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