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Bing imposes new contract terms on most Detroit city workers

Dave Bing

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has imposed new contract terms on nearly all city workers.

The move comes a day after the Detroit City Council rejected those terms. But the city’s consent agreement with the state lets city officials impose them anyway.

Bing said it was a tough decision, but a necessary one.

“It’s not easy," he told reporters Wednesday morning. "I know it’s going to be difficult for a lot of people. But I’ve got to worry about 700,000 people in the city of Detroit, not just the workers.”

Bing said the measure will go into effect immediately, and should save the city about $350,00 a day

The new terms include a 10% wage cut, a host of work rule changes--and the possibility of even deeper cuts if the city deems that necessary.

Bing says he hopes that won’t happen, but it’s not impossible. “Once we start implementing the cuts, we’ll take another look at everything to see whether or not we’d have to make additional cuts,” he said.

Furious city union leaders say they're still contemplating their next move. They say Bing's claim of having his hand forced by costs are nonsense, since unions gave up similar financial concessions in tentative agreements that the city never got approved.

They’ve talked about going to court—and some have even brought up the possibility of a strike.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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