Bing in May signed a council-approved budget for the coming fiscal year that calls for cutting more than 2,500 jobs, while shaving $250 million in annual expenses.

The city's accumulated budget deficit is about $265 million. Long-term structural debt stands at $13.2 billion.

The tentative agreement with police would have saved the city more than $20 million and included a 3-year pay freeze, according to the police union.

The tentative deal between the city and about 20 civilian unions was to have created about $60 million in health care savings. But those and other savings didn't "appropriately address" Detroit's fiscal cash crisis, according to a review done in February by the council's fiscal analysis division.

None of the deals went into effect.

"The city is saying we didn't have an agreement because it was never approved by council," Duncan said. "The bottom line is the city needed our help to try not to get an emergency manager. We sat around the table and looked at each other, realizing the city was in trouble. We negotiated with the mayor. As soon as we got it done, they turned their backs on us."

McNeil said the unions contend there is an agreement.

"We have a deal, a 3-year agreement. We signed it. We shook hands," McNeil said. "We know we can't trust them at this point."