Detroit Board Moves to Cut Pay of Union Workforce

Friday, 13 Jul 2012 01:01 PM

By Greg McDonald

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In another setback for organized labor, Detroit’s financial advisory board has approved a plan to cut $100 million from its unionized workforce without negotiating with union leaders.

The plan offered by Mayor Dave Bing incudes a 10 percent pay cut and limits on overtime pay, according to a report Friday in the Detroit Free Press.

It also would impose higher healthcare costs on workers, by increasing co-pays for doctor visits and prescription drugs. Even more cuts expected later on, the Free Press reported, including an end to retiree vision and dental coverage in 2013.

The Bing plan also applies to police and firefighters.

The cuts must still be approved by the Detroit City Council. But union representatives wasted little time in calling the proposal an attack on labor.

“It’s an attempt to back-door a right-to-work environment within Detroit municipal government,” said Greg Murray, vice president of the Senior Accountants, Analysts and Appraisers Association.

“It’s aggressive in nature, and takes you back to the ‘40s and ‘50s, and contains all the things that helped give rise to the union movement.”

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