Hundreds of police officers in Memphis have called out sick because of the ‘Blue Flu’

Memphis police officers call in sick to protest health care and pension changes

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong
Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC/CNN) — On Monday, hundreds of police officers in Memphis called out sick because of the “Blue Flu.”

A “Blue Flu” is a work stoppage staged by officers who call out sick.

As many as 522 officers are protesting the city’s major cuts to their health care coverage and proposed changes to their pension plans.

The police department has canceled officers’ days off and scheduled vacations to handle all of the calls.

“Literally it’s changing every shift, and you know we have four shifts. But as people call back in, as they report back to work, these numbers will decrease,” Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said.

The Memphis Police Association believes the changes to health care coverage violate the police department’s existing contract.

“Wake Up, Memphis
Members of your Memphis Police Association believe in the power of our citizens. Like you, we pay City taxes and want to see our dollars put to good use. Work with us to take control of our city, its leadership and our taxpayer dollars.” – Memphis Police Association

The city council has announced public hearings to find alternatives to these cuts.

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