Occupy Detroit - Please!
DrMarty | November 18, 2011 at 05:32 amby
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Bing raised the specter of an (appointed) emergency manager making decisions for the city. The alternative, he said, is to accept "sacrifice." (Kwame got out just in time)
In the opening sentences of the speech, he compared the city to the auto industry in 2007, when "they chose to adapt -- accepting new labor agreements, reduced wages and benefits, and changing the way they operated their business."
Noting that "We have eliminated approximately 2,000 positions since I entered office, but ... we have to do more," he proposed, in order to save more than $40 million, that city workers accept:
* Elimination of furlough days for all city employees, with implementation of a 10-percent across-the-board wage cut;
* Changes to existing healthcare coverage, including a 10- percent increase in employee contributions to their coverage;
* Pension reforms "to make the city more competitive with other municipal plans," including reducing excess payouts from the system;
* Reform of work rules to "reduce overtime costs and streamline operations;" and
* Additional strategic layoffs as also necessary, given the City's fiscal position.
Further, he asked that city retirees accept the same medical and pension reforms, to save $8 million. He also said that the city would begin in January to implement a 10% pay cut to city contractors, and a tax increase of less than 1% on Detroit corporations.
But Bing's proposals were met with a cacophony of banker-scripted local criticism, that he hadn't gone far enough.
Far enough, in most accounts, involves such clever things as shutting down the city, selling off its assets, limiting retiree health care, and firing thousands of (or all) city workers.
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