Memphis 'Blue Flu' symbol of pension troubles


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Faced with major changes to their health insurance benefits, more than 500 Memphis police officers have called in sick for the second consecutive day.

They are protesting cuts aimed at helping buttress the city's troubled pension program, in a showdown that reflects wider struggles in cash-strapped urban centers across the country.

Cuts approved by the City Council last month have led to protests from city workers, including police, who say they cannot afford the changes and feel betrayed by a city they have served and protected.

City leaders have said public safety has not been compromised due to what's being called the "Blue Flu."

But Memphis is not alone in dealing with consequences of pension shortfalls. Cities like Baltimore and Chicago have made changes based on pension issues.

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