AFSCME union says Detroit city workers agree to cuts

Members approve 10 percent pay cut

Published On: Mar 23 2012 12:49:13 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 23 2012 02:58:24 PM EDT
DETROIT -

Unions representing thousands of Detroit city workers say their members have approved 10 percent pay cuts and other changes that are intended to save $100 million a year.

AFSCME Council 25 leaders hope the savings will prevent the need for an emergency manager or an agreement between Detroit and the state on how to cure the city's poor finances.

“This is not just a quick fix by fixing it on the back of employees,” said AFSCME Council 25’s  Ed McNeil. “But it’s a fix that we all got to take part in.”

The deal announced Friday affects at least 4,500 workers and still needs approval from the city council. It does not cover Detroit police officers and firefighters, who are in separate talks.

Detroit is in a financial crisis, and state and local officials have exchanged proposals on how to fix it without appointing an emergency manager. 

Statement from Detroit Mayor Dave Bing's office:

"Mayor Bing has said from the beginning that negotiations between the City’s non-uniform unions and the City earlier this year were historic and precedent-setting. The tentative agreements reached in early February and ratified today were not just about concessions, but more about shared sacrifice. 

These ratified agreements, reached before their existing contracts expired, reflect how labor and management can work together in a fair and constructive way. The agreements also provide checks and balances that hold both unions and Mayor Bing’s administration accountable. 

The administration looks forward to solidifying its relationship with City workers as we move forward in restoring financial stability to the City."