Life Time Fitness, Mpls. Clash Over Domestic Benefits

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The City of Minneapolis is considering ending its contract with Life Time Fitness which allows police and firefighters to use their facilities.

The Minneapolis City Council and the fitness chain have a $460,000 contract that allows about 800 city employees to take advantage of the free memberships, according to the Star Tribune.

Minneapolis requires companies with contracts worth more than $100,000 to offer benefits to domestic partners.

Life Time requested a waiver from that rule, point out that the City of Minneapolis itself does not offer those benefits to domestic partners.

Recently, Minneapolis officials have asked health facilities to submit proposals, indicating the city seeks to no longer use Life Time.

The City of Minneapolis purchased the Life Time memberships for police and firefighters to encourage better fitness.

  • Jon

    Um, why are we paying for this anyway. I pay for my own fitness membership. These people get to go for free and don’t even have a minimum number of times they have to go per month? I get a frequent attending discount but I have to go 12 time a month and I still end up paying for half.

    i guess this is part of the bloat the Unions bring that needs to maybe be looked at.

    • Pat

      plus I bet half of the cops could be out run by a 6 year old..everyone I see is out of shape! so we are paying for them to go and I don’t think they are going anyway.

    • Pat R

      Well I would say the reason the city offers these amenities to the police and fire fighters is so that they can stay healthy and fit for their jobs, but that is not true. Many of the police and fire fighters need to go visit Jenny Criag, Nutrisystem or MediFast to get back into shape.

      This service has nothing to do with the Unions, so don’t even bring them into the picture. This is a service your mayor and councilperson have voted to give to these people. If anything, blame your councilperson or mayor not the Union. There are many wasteful things the government does, that have nothing to do with Unions. No I am not a proponent for the Unions, there are many things that the Unions do that I do not agree with, but I do believe putting the blame where it squarely belongs, and in this case it belongs with the mayor and the councilpeople.

      • foge1

        Actually in their respective contracts.

      • Dave

        As a Union member, I have no idea how you can make a statement that the benefit of health care membership is not a union matter. I will guarantee that if the benefit was dropped that the Union would be up in arms about it. I am not saying it is right or wrong to have this benefit as I don’t know the details of their contract. I do know that nothing changes in benefits to union members without the union being involved.

    • foge1

      Read their contract. It is calculated into their pay

  • pat

    No Kidding ,with the budget woes Mpls has, this is ridiculous. Also, lifetime is a private company and if they don’t wish to offer these expensive benifits that is their business.

  • na

    How many cops, firefighters, est do you see at the gym? Not many

    • Anita Newhouse

      ANd how would we know this? Do they wear their nametags?

    • foge1

      Im sure when they are working out they really want the whole gym know that they are a cop.

  • renee

    fyI; minneapolis lifetime is an elite club, an average gold card member cant use the facility ~ I feel the same way why are we paying for this anyway?

  • Greg

    Got to disagree. I am a retired MPD deputy chief and still use my membership though I pay all costs. If I go 8 or more times a month, my HMO supports my cost of membership. The memebership was a negotiated benefit. By contract, if underuitilzed, the city can revoke a membership. We did so with due notice to save wasted money. The jokes about unfit cops are tiresome. Nine times out of ten they catch the bad guy. When I started in 1975 with all the smokers, many cops didn’t even bother to try.

    • Bruce

      Greg……….9 times outa 10 they catch the bad guy ?? while slamming their cars into people on the street…not by running not many cops can run … big guts no glory

  • Rob Wagner

    Next thing you know the police will be able to eat unlimited doughnuts from Krispy Kreme, paid for by the tax payer.

    • KEASHA

      hahaahahahahahahhahaaha. agreed. when i was 13 i remeber they used to come into dairy queen and requests free blizzards and malts, like they owned the place fatties….im 24 now, will never forget it, and what awful respect they gave us.

  • Tonia

    Why don’t you guys lay off the cops? They are protecting you, give them some respect! As for the Lifetime Membership, I’m sure you don’t know WHAT the contract negotiation was so you really can’t put in your two cents until you know the facts. As Greg said – there is probably something in there that you pay for it unless you reach your minimum amount. I’m a government worker (non-union) and there is more to every story than is ever told.

  • Richard in Minneapolis

    I am an ex-mayor of a city that provided health club memberships for firefighters and police. Why? because it was a helluva lot cheaper than maintaining our own fitness area. In an attempt to save money we outsourced. And it worked.

  • Mel

    Why does the City of Minneapolis hold private entities to different standard then they hold? Just another example of government trying to dictate the policies of a private business. Private business owners beware, if you come into contract with the government prepare to be bullied and strong-armed into changing your policies. I prefer to let the free market run its course.

    • C K

      Lifetime didn’t have to contract with the city, they chose to. The city, as a customer of this private entity, asked for changes to the product. The private sector provider of that product declined, now the city is looking elsewhere in the market for a provider that meets its requirements. Lifetime simplly loses a (.46 million dollar) customer.

      No dictating, no strong-arming, no bullying, no government take-over. In fact, it is a pretty clear example of the public sector turing to the private sector for a solution.

      Perhaps if you think about the situation instead of immediately reacting to it we might all find some better solutions.

      • John

        Thank You!! finally someone read the story and thought it though

        • Jake

          It’s a poorly written story., John. Are the mandatory domestic partner benefits (with serious religious effects, mind you) to be offered by Lifetime to Lifetime Fitness employees? Or is it that the domestic partners of the Minneapolis employees should get free access to Lifetime? The article doesn’t even describe what is at issue.

          If it’s the latter, that would be strong arming, because the number of people under the contract is 800, not the potential 1600. If it’s the former, do we know why Lifetime doesn’t provide those benefits? Is it related to the owners’ religious beliefs? If so, are the only people permitted to do substantial business with Minneapolis the ones who share the city council’s religious dogma? Talk about Establishment issues.

          If the city is contracting for a service, the service should be the only consideration. All other legal decisions of how the business is run (doemstic partner benefits are not mandated to private companies) should be immaterial. What next? Minneapolis only only does business with companies that aggressively support abortions?

    • Anita Newhouse

      Because the constituents of Mpls have determined that it is in THEIR best interest for the city to require this even though the city itself does not. If you don’t like the policies of a government, take it up with it’s ‘owners’ -ie: it’s constituents who voted for and support it.

      Silly people- the local government is what your neighbors, or at least the majority of them, voted for. You all comment about it like it’s a business, with it’s own self-serving interests. It is not. If you don’t like what the local government does, talk to your neighbors!

  • Rob Wagner

    Hey Tonia, all you had to say was government worker. Are you on break right now. I didn’t think so. Must be nice to read the news and write comments during work. Thank the taxs payer. “Go Scott Walker from Wisconsin

    • Tonia

      Actually, yes – I am on break now. Thanks for asking though! :) Have a great day!

      • ohoh

        on break at exactly 10, I don’t think sooooo.

  • la de da

    What the F? Who did your budge for your own fitness area? I have lost 2.5 inches in my waist with P90X and a few pieces of wal-mart fitness products in 1 month. hmmm Cost total = $100 plus purchase of supplements.

    I do it in a 10×10 room with another person. So say you have 4 off duty cops/firefighters working together I think they can figure out something.

    What a joke!

  • Anita Newhouse

    The MPD in my neighborhood seem perfectly fit enough to be keeping up with other wheeled violaters and I’m glad for it. As the weather improves, many folks from everywhere else in the metro converge on the lakes in Mpls, passing through my neighborhood. Funny how this also brings a surge in all sorts of petty crime and worse. And even funnier that most of the perps don’t have Mpls addresses!

    If MPD does not wish to maintain a fiitness center as many other departments do- maybe to not saddle the Mpls taxpayers with the expense of liability insurance for it- then Thank You Mpls, for sending police and fire folk to another fitness center. All in all, it’s cheaper than homeowners having to clean up and deal with the crime instead.

  • Paul

    The Marines are in a lot better shape than almost all police officers. They do push ups, sit ups, and run. Its seems the unions foster lazyness by providing comfy gyms at the taxpayers expense. I suggest they cut the membershipa all together. Spend the money on feeding the hungry in our city. However, if they insist on using a gym then bus them to a prison. I hear we taxpayers have already paid for excellent weight lifitng equipment and its in a structured environment that the police are familiar with.

    • Renee

      right on, Not only do they give prison the best in equipment, they now give them free education, try being a snigle mom, who paid her sons way through college, only to find out if you commit a crime, you can get a free college education, Private colleges like Northwestern, give just that! Medical school included! Paul I am so with your line of thinking on this. We are in a real mess in this state of Minnesota, if people only knew the half of what the criminal justice system did along with the churches in the area, they would be devastated to see where the tax dollars are spent. In my faith Jesus said, feed the poor, tend to the broken hearted, I have yet to see where it says buff up the police dept, so they can pamper the prisoner! I guess this all makes for a great debate!

  • Darryl

    Enough perks for public employees already. Decertify all of their unions and bring their pay and benefits back in line with the public sector..the people who actually work for a living and pay their salaries.

    • Annoyed

      public workers actually get paid less than in the private sector. Do your research!

      • just8

        Are you including pensions?

        • Annoyed

          I pay for my pension. The newer employees do not get all the perks that people think we get. I actually pay a hefty some for my penion.

          • Jack Mehoff

            Dear Annoyed

            Quit your job if it sucks so badly. I’d bet my lunch money that you have no qualifications to do anything else and that you’ve peaked in your career.

            • foge1

              Go sit in a corner and do what you do best. I work in the public sector and has a MS. I have worked in the private sector also and have fired many with your arrogant entitled attitude. Let Annoyed know where you work and see how long you still have a job.

        • foge1

          This is not Wisconsin. Public workers actually pay a lot towards their pensions in MN.

  • shirley

    If i remember right, lifetime fitness is a somali owned business, who own a lot of property in minneapolis. i will say no more.

    • Pat R

      Lifetime is not owned by a Somali business. Where ever you are getting your information you might want to check your source. Nice way of spreading rumours and causing problems where there is no need for any. You must be a republican. Republican = Liar and Greed.

  • Joao

    I had these benefits through the U.M is true the Union negotiates the contract as a leverage for their members, and few take advantage of them..I belong to Bally and ..well I have to take care of it myself..seriously just another “right” discretion is what they are trying to bring to the table.Life Fitness is a private business why should they have to change their policy?..oh wait because its not RIGHT!!!..The cops would prefer to find their own place..try a Rec center..or another high-end place..hell the YWCA or YMCA…they are non-profit doesn’t matter..its just a staging tool , gym memberships for the Unions..

  • Ben Dover

    This is BS that the city pays for these bloated officers to maintain their fitness level. The officers should be required to pass a fitness test in order to keep their position as officers. I’ve seen this one “mounted” officer that rides the hourse around in DT and that guy is a slob. I feel sorry for that poor horse everytime I see him with that blob on his back. If you can’t pass the annual fitness test you lose your job its that simple.

  • John

    I see alot of people complaning about the police officers salary , well here you go.
    Mpls Police Officer
    Salary: $43,080-$52,962/year plus benefits
    What I don’t get is this salary is pretty low in the first place and these people are out there saving lives and protecting the public and all people can say is they are overpaid and out of shape. ;-(

  • Cache

    This is more government freebie mentality…this should change to a “copay” situation as most don’t use it because they have no investment on their part!?

  • Judi

    Businesses have the right to set their own rules. Domestic partners can start their own health clubs. Bowing to these individuals only opens a whole kettle of worms for our society. Listen to Janet Mefferd on KKMS. We need to stand for what is right. The country is going in all the wrong directions.

  • Walter

    Do your homwork….Lifetime is a public company, traded on the stockmarket.
    CEO/Prestident/Founder Bahram Akradi is from Iran, via Denver where he studied engineering.


  • just8

    Minneapolis has no right forcing their “attitudes” on private business’. Yes, I realize Life Time is benefiting from this relationship, but Mpls has gone too far in forcing their views on private business. What ever happened to independent thinking. Oh yea, its only ok to independantly think one way. I tend to say out of Minneapolis these days anyways, and I tell my kids to do the same.

  • USS Atlantis

    If Minneapolis itself doesn’t offer benefits to domestic partners, they have no right to demand it of companies they do business with – “Do what I day, not what I do” is NOT good policy

    However, I hope for the day that freedom of thought wins out over religious bias and everyone has the chance to be who they are – without restrictions on any part of society

  • KMD

    Pathetic, ignorant, childish and down right embarrasing….the majority of the comments regarding this issue are not even relevant to the “true” content of the article. Where has such disrespect for our fellow man come from? My God people wake up! On a personal note and in defense of the police & fire fighters…I would venture to guess the reason you may not be seeing them attending your local gym on a regular basis is because the majority of them are speniding precious time with their families, working that 2nd or 3rd job or quite possibly sleeping after putting in outrageously long and stressful hours protection you & your family. This is a financial/business deal between the City of Mpls and Lifetime Fitness….not an open forum in which to attack our public servants. Thank you

  • Ben Dover

    KMD, does the sun shine in your world….what a joke

    • KMD

      Yes, “Ben Dover” (original-you must be related to Phil McCrackin huh?) you just confirmed your stupidity~( insert the sarcastic sigh & rolling of my eyes) Yes, the sun shines in my world just as it is shining on my fathers grave…a man who risked his life serving for 31 honorable years on a suburban police force. The real joke is here is you. I will pray for you. Have a beautiful day! :o)

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