Detroit EMS union leader to support restructuring plan

DETROIT (WYXZ) - Detroit's Emergency Manager painted a pretty bleak picture of Detroit's financial future.  Banks, retirees and union members are all being asked to make steep sacrifices.  While Kevyn Orr's plan is being met with some protest, one local union leader is willing to support the bold restructuring plan.

Joseph Barney represents 221 employees with Detroit's EMS department.  They are trained to save lives and Barney struggles knowing some lives may have been lost because of slow response time due to broken down ambulances.

Barney admits he was angry when Orr revealed the restructuring plan because, like so many other city employees, his retirement is in jeopardy.  The long-time employee is willing to support the emergency manager if that means city services, including EMS, will improve.  Orr's plan includes spending more than $1 billion over the next ten years to improve city services.

Orr will be meeting with retirees and union leaders next week about expected changes to pension plans and healthcare benefits.

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