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A Message To Our Members Regarding Pension Reform

Pension Reform has moved to the forefront of our communications over the past weeks because of its impact on all of our businesses and the future of our city.  This update contains key points that impact this important issue.

·       Memphis, like other cities including Detroit and Chicago, has fiscally unsustainable pension programs. As the State of Tennessee has mandated reform, this is the current issue being deliberated by the City Council.

·       If Memphis can get control of spending and debt payments (including pensions), the city will be able to invest in essential services and our community’s infrastructure will help retain good jobs and set the stage for additional job creation and better opportunities for all citizens.

·       The Chamber is committed to bringing jobs to our city which will strengthen the economy over the long term for the benefit of all citizens of Memphis, and as such, we support pension reform.

·       Our City has lost 30,000 jobs over the past 7 years; we have to reverse this trend.

·       The Chamber is involved because if Memphis does not address this, taxpayers will be on the line for the $550 million in pension debt that continues to grow.

·       Pension reform is necessary to protect the pensions of those who need it the most, those who have already retired and those who have already invested years of service to our City.  Only those who have less than 10 years of service will be affected by the proposed reform.

·       For an excellent summary of the Chamber’s position, please take a moment to watch this interview with Dexter Muller, the Chamber’s SVP for Community Development. 

Recent Developments:
·       At yesterday’s City Council meeting, the Council moved to delay the vote on changing the City’s pension program.  The Council will consider the issue on Tuesday, October 7. 

·       The basis for the delay was the City Council received new information from its consultant suggesting alternatives that the Council may want to consider as it constructs a new plan. 

·       The Chamber will continue to monitor the City Council discussions and provide you with information about how you can most effectively share your views with City Council members before the vote.

We are here for you:
·       We are disappointed that Union organizers continue to bully and harass Chamber members.  Our members work tirelessly to grow their business, create jobs, and invest in this community that we all call home.

·       The property and sales taxes generated by your businesses pay the salaries for public employees.  Boycotts are counterproductive and punish the hard working employees who face their own challenges to provide for their families.

·       Our middle class has been leaving Memphis steadily for the past several years.  Pension reform is a difficult, but necessary step we have to take to reverse this trend.  We must provide an environment where all businesses can grow, benefitting all citizens, including our public servants.

·       A few of you may have received a letter from public sector union representatives intimidating you and your business.  We regret that they have taken this approach.  If you should need assistance responding to these unwarranted threats, we stand ready to provide you with appropriate responses.

We support and respect those that serve the public and want them to be fairly compensated.  But, we also stand for what’s fair for the other 650,000 Memphians who don’t have access to gold plated subsidies and pensions paid for with our taxes.

It is important that we stand together, please let us know how we can help.
Posted: 7/2/2014 3:43:46 PM | with 0 comments

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