Friday, April 6, 2012

Detroit Unions Give It Away, Snyder Not Satisfied, Will they Strike?

Will Work for Free (Image from Flickr, by psyberartist)

Last week, 30 Detroit public sector unions sold out their members by giving away major concessions to the city, including a 10% pay cut, layoffs, and changes to their pensions, in a completely voluntary reopening of existing contracts well before they expire. The move was an attempt to preempt the declaration of financial failure by the state and the imposition of a financial manager who could dissolve local governmental agencies and union contracts.

The Detroit City Council has decided not to vote on the new contracts because they conflict with a proposed consent agreement negotiated with the state and is telling unions the state is requiring them to return to the bargaining table, mlive reported this week.

Gov. Rick Snyder wants city leaders to approve a consent agreement that would eliminate the need for an emergency manager. Snyder’s agreement would require even more take backs from the unions, including a watering down of the grievance procedures.

3 Council members (JoAnn Watson, Brenda Jones and Kwame Kenyatta) criticized Mayor Bing for delaying approval of the contracts and suggested that by doing so they will jeopardize long-term labor relations with the unions.

Now that the deal is off, AFSMCE local 25 President Al Garrett, is refusing to any more negotiations until their current contracts expire and said he would call for a strike before he agreed to the state-requested reforms.

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