Some Detroit City Council members declining to say if they will take more pay cuts like workers
7:06 PM, Feb 7, 2013
12:19 AM, Feb 8, 2013
DETROIT (WXYZ) - "If I am able to ask others, I should be able to do so myself," said Detroit City Councilman James Tate of his recent request that the city cut his pay by 10-percent.
The salaries for all nine members of council were already cut in January 2010, the beginning of their current term, and now Mayor Dave Bing is asking that they take an additional 10-percent cut to match that which will take effect for non-union workers on Monday.
The administration is still looking to negotiate the same for unionized employees.
In addition to Tate, Councilman Ken Cockrel tells 7 Action News that he is also willing to take the cut.
Council members Gary Brown and JoAnn Watson declined to comment.
Staffers for Council members Andre Spivey and Saunteel Jenkins said they were unavailable Thursday, but never replied to requests for even a statement on whether they would take the 10-percent cut to their $73,000 salary.
Messages left for Councilwoman Brenda Jones were also never returned.
Councilman Kwame Kenyatta believes he has already given a huge savings to the city by opting out of their medical coverage for the health care plan he's allowed as a retiree of Wayne County.
Council President Charles Pugh says he is waiting on an answer from the city's Human Resources Department on whether he can opt-out of his entire benefits package, including health care. Pugh, who earns $77,000 as Council President, believes that would allow the city to save approximately $70,000 on him alone.
If the city will not allow Pugh to sever his entire benefits package, he says he would take the 10-percent cut to his pay.
On Tuesday, Detroit City Council will vote on whether to impose an additional ten-percent pay cut on members of their own staff whose positions do not even qualify them for health care benefits from the city.