Unions hesitant to agree to reported bankruptcy deals

Union leaders say members aren't ready to sign off


DETROIT – After word leaked Friday night that deals had been reached with three Detroit unions, some of those unions are saying that while they'll present the terms of the deal to their members, they're not ready to sign off.

The three unions with the offer on the table are AFSCME, DFFA and DPLSA. The offers require union membership ratification.

READ: Unions reach major bankruptcy deals with city of Detroit

Sources tell Local 4 that the outline of the deal includes minimal to non-existent cuts to pensions but substantial cuts to cost of living adjustments for both pensions and health care. Pay would be restored to 2010 levels over a five-year period.

This is a tough, hard-fought deal and union leaders are making it very clear that they aren't happy with it.

"We have continued to negotiate in good faith, but negotiations were stalled with lack of agreement and the threat of cram down," said Detroit Firefighters Association President Jeff Pegg.

Included in the offer is the provision that the unions and retirees would cancel lawsuits and agree to the terms of the so-called "grand bargain." That bargain would backfill Detroit pensions and save the art collection at the DIA. It would include $350 million from the state to make it happen.

The governor has pledged that the money will be available, but the Legislature is hesitating to approve it. Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr will travel to Lansing next week to meet with the leadership of both parties and attempt to finalize the agreement.

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