City employee unions cry foul following first in series of meetings with Emergency Manager's staff

DETROIT (WXYZ) - The first of four meetings between the Detroit Emergency Manager's office and city employees has people on the employee side crying foul. 

The meetings are closed - anything discussed inside is to be "off the record" for any future court proceedings and before any financial documents are provided to the employee groups, members in the meeting have to sign a confidentiality agreement. 

Representatives of AFSCME and the UAW say this is contrary "transparency" touted by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and contrary to being able to share the information with employees they represent. 

The first meeting today is with representative with the General Retirement Pension System. Another meeting Wednesday afternoon is with representatives of the Police and Fire Pension System. 

Michael Nicholson, an attorney with the UAW, says the Michigan Constitution protects public employee pensions and any talk of cuts violates that. He also says two lawsuits have been filed in Lansing on behalf of Detroit city employees to block any possible Chapter 9 Detroit Bankruptcy over the issue of pension cuts. 

The Emergency Manager is not attending the sessions but his restructuring team is. Two more meetings are set for tomorrow with retirees to discuss cuts to their health care.  

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