It's been no secret that Governor Snyder and his team were going to force union members to bear the full brunt of the financial problems Detroit faces. Now they have finally gotten around to saying it publicly.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and the City Council must reach concessions with city unions by early February to avoid a recommendation of state intervention from the state’s emergency review team, State Treasurer Andy Dillon said today.
But union leaders said the chance of reaching an agreement is very unlikely, even after members of the review team expressed shock and anger over the severity of the financial crisis and how little of it was publicly known until recently.
Three key union negotiators reached by the Free Press today said members likely won’t ratify contracts because the unions representing the police and fire departments won’t accept 10% pay cuts. Non-public safety employees accepted 10% pay cuts in 2010, and are now being asked to absorb cuts in pension and health care benefits. [...]
The biggest challenge of fixing the financial crisis is gaining more than $100 million a year in union concessions.
They have about three weeks to force the concessions.
State Treasurer Andy Dillon today said Detroit has until the first week of February to present its own plan for fixing its financial crisis, noting the biggest impediment to a city budget deal is retiree healthcare costs.
"If the city and labor are to reach a deal on their own, it should be by early February," Dillon said. [...]
"I would say early February would be the window that would be appropriate," Dillon said. "If they get there and they tell us they need a week and it's February 6, we'll say, great, take your week."
So very benevolent of Dillon, wouldn't you say?
Union members did not cause this problem. This problem was caused by decades of mismanagement and by a catastrophic loss manufacturing jobs in the Motor City. But garbage collectors, fire fighters and cops are going to be the ones forced to pay the price. I got an email from Kenneth today suggesting a better phrase than Emergency Manager is Domestic Colonialism.
I'm inclined to agree.
Cross-posted from Eclectablog.