Detroit City Council agrees to one year pension freeze - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Detroit City Council agrees to one year pension freeze

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By Alexis Wiley
Fox 2 News

On Wednesday, Detroit City Council voted to freeze contributions to the city's pension for civilian employees. Currently, it applies to non-union workers but if it's imposed on the unions the city will save $25 million dollars.  But what means savings for the city means hard times for people like Andrea Hackett  

"I've had a ten percent pay cut for three years and now they're proposing three more," says Hackett

And soon she may be forced to swallow yet another ten-percent pay cut.  In addition to forking over more cash for health care, the mayor asked the council to authorize up to a 20-percent pay cut.  Although,  the mayor said all he really needed was ten.  And that's exactly what some council members say they are prepared to give him.  One furlough day every two weeks which adds up to a ten-percent pay cut.

"We're asking a lot and we would like to mitigate some of this financial pain to people's pay checks.  Having the increase be as much as ten extra percent is enough," says Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh.

But Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown says sadly that may not be enough.

"The mayor asked for 20-percent for a reason.  He needs to use it as leverage when he negotiates with the unions to get a minimum of ten-percent from the unions.  and if he has to start out with 10-percent with the unions and he's negotiating then he probably won't get ten-percent," says Brown.

Council is expected to create an ordinance that will allow workers who are at 24 years or let's say 29 years to still continue to accrue time so they can retire on schedule.

Meanwhile that vote on the pay cuts is suppose to happen January 25th.

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