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Detroit’s largest city employees’ union wants a voice in $300 million in budget cuts

Posted at 5:29 PM, Apr 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 21:40:23-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan will discuss his plan to make deep budget cuts at 7pm on Detroit’s city cable TV channel 10.

RELATED: WATCH: Mayor Duggan outlines budget cut plan in wake of COVID-19 pandemic

AFSCME is the union representing the largest employee group and Council 25 President Larry Roehrig tells 7 Action News they need to be a team with the mayor and city council to take on Covid-19.

“This is not us against them. This is us against it,” Roehrig said.

Mayor Duggan says the Coronavirus crisis is costing the city $300 million in revenue over two fiscal years and adds, “It’s going to affect all 9,000 of our employees.”

During Detroit’s bankruptcy, more than 30,000 city employees and retirees had their health care and pensions cut. There were layoffs, pay cuts and some employee groups privatized or moved out of the city.

AFSCME staged a major protest with workers outside of federal court downtown during the bankruptcy hearings.

President Roehrig says that will continue, “To make sure we have the broad shoulders and the big mouth to stand up and support and defend all the little folks who individually don’t have that big of a voice. Our AFSCME members gave and gave and gave and gave to save this great city. We’re part of the solution. We are not the problem. And our opinions matter. We shall not be dictated to. We shall be partners.”

Mike Duggan was elected mayor in the middle of the bankruptcy and Detroit was being operated by state-appointed Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.

Mayor Duggan says he and the City Council will manage this debt, “We’re going to take care of everything at once. That’s what we signed up for. That’s what we’re going to do."

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