DETROIT (WXYZ) - Proposed changes to work rules seem to be the most troublesome aspect of concessions for union leaders in Detroit to accept.
For example, promotions will now take into consideration factors like 'demonstrated ability' and sick time use, rather than just seniority.
"The city can on its own, arbitrarily and perhaps unfairly, promote people it likes," says union leader Greg Murray. "That's a major fundamental loss of rights."
Murray is acting president of the Senior Accountants, Analysts and Appraisers Association, which represents about 285 city employees.
On Thursday, the Bing Administration proposed severe changes to pay and benefits. The Financial Advisory Board approved the plan. City Council will review the proposal, but even if it votes it down, the new Program Manager for the city of Detroit can still implement the changes anyway.
"You always feel bad when you have to make cuts and have a negative impact on anybody's livelihood," Mayor Dave Bing said Friday. "But we have no choice but to do this."
Chief Operating Officer Chris Brown said without urgent action there could be a liquidity crisis in months.
As for Murray, he understands the pain the men and women he represents are facing. He's been laid off. His last day with the city is today.
"At 59 years old, it is tough to know that you won't be able to get up in the morning and go to a job that you love."
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