'Blue Flu' costs city nearly $500,000 in overtime - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

'Blue Flu' costs city nearly $500,000 in overtime

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - The "Blue Flu" has, so far, cost Memphis Police Department almost $500,000 in overtime.

City officials have acknowledged that the sick calls referred to as "Blue Flu" are in protest of a city council vote to cut health care subsidies and raise insurance premiums for city employees, including police officers and firefighters.

To deal with the sick calls, scheduled vacations and days off were canceled and many officers were forced to work overtime.

WMC Action News 5 requested a breakdown of the overtime costs:

  PII Sgt Lt
Hours      8,275.96 1,016.33 2,101.66
Pay rate $38.64 $42.57 $46.13
Total $319,783.09 $43,265.17 $96,949.58
Grand total   $459,997.84    

Monday, July 7 through Sunday, July 13, more than 500 officers called in sick.

City Council Chairman Jim Strickland was shocked the number reached was more than double the average.

"From the city's perspective it was money well spent, because we had to pay overtime to cover the streets for the officers who were out," he said. 

But from a budget perspective, he says it certainly isn't helping the problem.

"When you look at the dollars spend we are in a very tight budget, we have $100 million debt that we're trying to deal with, involving retiree health care and pensions, and a half million dollars would be money better spent doing something else," he said.

The half a million dollars in overtime doesn't take into account the paid sick time for the officers who called out sick. But taxpayers are split on the issue, balancing public safety with taking a stand for those who protect this city.

Director Armstrong was not available for comment Friday, and WMC didn't hear back from the City of Memphis as of 6 p.m.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

 

  • 'Blue Flu' costs city nearly $500,000 in overtimeMore>>

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • BREAKING

    UPDATE: Two people killed in car crash in Egan identified

    UPDATE: Two people killed in car crash in Egan identified

    Wednesday, July 26 2017 4:17 PM EDT2017-07-26 20:17:08 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)

    Speeding and no seat belt usage is believed to be the cause of two fatalities in a single vehicle crash in Egan Tuesday night according to Master Trooper, Brooks David, with Louisiana State Police Troop I. Kevin Melancon of Calion, Arkansas, and Donna Cormier of Egan, both 44 died in the crash. Melancon was driving a 2013 Chevrolet Camaro on LA 100 when he ran off a curve and struck a culvert. Both Melancon and Cormier were not wearing seat belts, said David. Melanc...

    More >>

    Speeding and no seat belt usage is believed to be the cause of two fatalities in a single vehicle crash in Egan Tuesday night according to Master Trooper, Brooks David, with Louisiana State Police Troop I. Kevin Melancon of Calion, Arkansas, and Donna Cormier of Egan, both 44 died in the crash. Melancon was driving a 2013 Chevrolet Camaro on LA 100 when he ran off a curve and struck a culvert. Both Melancon and Cormier were not wearing seat belts, said David. Melanc...

    More >>
  • Boil Advisory for town of Thornwell

    Boil Advisory for town of Thornwell

    Wednesday, July 26 2017 4:08 PM EDT2017-07-26 20:08:14 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)
    The Jeff Davis Water Commission in Thornwell has issued a boil advisory for portions of Hwy. 99. Water service has been restored to all affected areas but residents on Hwy. 99 as well as areas West and Northwest of Hwy. 99 should boil their water before use. The Jeff Davis Water Commission says it apologizes for any inconvenience and appreciates your patience.  Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved. More >>
    The Jeff Davis Water Commission in Thornwell has issued a boil advisory for portions of Hwy. 99. Water service has been restored to all affected areas but residents on Hwy. 99 as well as areas West and Northwest of Hwy. 99 should boil their water before use. The Jeff Davis Water Commission says it apologizes for any inconvenience and appreciates your patience.  Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved. More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: More hot and dry weather this week before the rain returns this weekend

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: More hot and dry weather this week before the rain returns this weekend

    Wednesday, July 26 2017 3:55 PM EDT2017-07-26 19:55:52 GMT
    Another dry day on ThursdayAnother dry day on Thursday

    By sunset this evening the temperatures will start to go down although we will still be very warm tonight. Overnight we will have mostly clear skies and temperatures in the mid 70s. Rain chances are down to zero. Thursday we will still be mostly sunny with a few passing clouds. Rain chances are down to 10%, but that is still being generous. Due to the upper level high pressure to our west, it will greatly limit any rain chances through the end of the week. 

    More >>

    By sunset this evening the temperatures will start to go down although we will still be very warm tonight. Overnight we will have mostly clear skies and temperatures in the mid 70s. Rain chances are down to zero. Thursday we will still be mostly sunny with a few passing clouds. Rain chances are down to 10%, but that is still being generous. Due to the upper level high pressure to our west, it will greatly limit any rain chances through the end of the week. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly