Cash-strapped Detroit sends out employee year-end bonuses

Detroit sends out year-end bonuses, totaling nearly $500,000, due to 'antiquated processes,' mayor says


DETROIT – The cash-strapped city of Detroit has done something no one would expect.

The city on the brink of a state takeover has sent out year-end bonuses to its employees.

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This past Friday, 697 city union employees and 451 non-union employees received longevity bonus payments which, depending on years of service, were anywhere between $150 to $750. The total payout is nearly $500,000.

Was it a mistake? Detroit Mayor Dave Bing had said, not too long ago, that the bonuses in question would not be sent out.

A resolution on the bonuses was rejected this past summer. However, it was eventually approved. Now, Detroit's law department is preparing an ordinance amendment to discontinue the payments. Bing released a statement Thursday afternoon which reads in part:

"One of my frustrations is that the city processes are antiquated, and the length of time needed to bring about change is often inefficient and counterproductive."


Detroit Mayor Dave Bing

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With the city drowning in massive debt, the mayor definitely is not the only one disappointed.

"This city already is in a bad enough shape and to do something like this ... it doesn't surprise me," said Detroiter Tori Ann Shelley.

There will be action taken in January to prevent something like this from happening again, Local 4 has learned.

The bonuses already sent out will not have to be paid back to the city because they were given in accordance to the existing city ordinance.