Detroit City Council votes to impose furlough days on the city's unionized workers
11:54 AM, Feb 21, 2013
3:42 PM, Feb 21, 2013
Detroit (WXYZ) - Detroit City Council members say they don't know if they will be leading the city for long, but they are still making tough decisions.
One of the decisions made on Thursday will hit the city's unionized workers in the pocketbook.
The council voted to approve a resolution of Mayor Dave Bing's that imposes furlough days on city workers. Workers will now have 26 mandatory furlough days a year, which amounts to a 10% pay cut.
"We've got city workers living in cars. We've got city workers making $24K a year who will now be cost shifting. What is going to happen they are going to go from working, to drawing under-employment. So it's really not a benefit to the city or the state," said AFSCME Local 1220 President Gerald Thompson.
Thompson says the city should have put more into negotiations with city workers, instead of just forcing them into these furlough days.
Unions have told city leaders to expect lawsuits.
The vote for cash saving furlough days comes as Governor Rick Snyder looks over the Financial Review Team's report declaring a financial emergency in Detroit.
The governor could call for a state takeover, and leave council members out of a job.
"We have to keep doing what we can," said Saunteel Jenkins, Detroit City Council.
Jenkins says she has not given up on her role as a city leader, and this is just one example of how council is making tough decisions to keep the city solvent.
The furlough days are expected to save Detroit more than $5 million.