Officials urge pensioners to approve deal after grand bargain si - FOX 13 News

Officials urge pensioners to approve deal after grand bargain signing

Posted: Updated:
DETROIT (WJBK) - Amid all the smiles and the handshakes, there is still real concern here. Just because the governor has signed the grand bargain doesn't mean it's a go.

"Detroit, Michigan means something special. It's not Detroit versus Michigan or Michigan versus Detroit - it's Detroit, Michigan and we should hold our heads proud!" says Gov. Rick Snyder, ready to sign the bills known as the grand bargain.

That's the 800 million dollar deal to save the art at the DIA and the pensions of the city's employees. Lawmakers, corporations, foundations are committing major money as part of the plan.

"We went across the aisle, we worked together and it was about people it wasn't about politics," says Senator Randy Richardville.

"We all basically want the same thing: a good-paying job, a safe community for our families and a quality education for our children. A protracted bankruptcy for Detroit cripples our ability to achieve those things and, quite frankly, lawyers will be the only ones that win in court," says Representative Thomas Stallworth.

The bill signings commit 195 million dollars from the state. It was held at the old Globe Building on Detroit's riverfront, which is newly renovated and a soon-to-be outdoor adventure center. It's the kind of rebirth that those gathered here are hoping for in Detroit.

They say this grand bargain is the key to bringing Detroit out of bankruptcy and back under local control.

"What you have done with this bill is give us a fresh chance and I think in the coming years it's going to turn out to be one of the most proudest things you did in the your political careers," says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

But many here worry none of that will happen if the city's retirees and active employees vote no on the plan of adjustment, meaning all of the money in the grand bargain goes away and they say cuts to pensions will be even deeper.

It's been a bitter pill to swallow for all of them.

"It will not be easy for any retiree to vote yes but there is no other reasonable option," says Don Taylor of the Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association. "Voting no is not going to prevent your benefits from being reduced; just the opposite will occur. It will double the reduction."

Police and fire retirees are being urged to vote yes but the unions for Detroit police and fire active employees say they're not commenting on their position right now as they are still in talks with the city.

Meantime, the governor says he's aware of the sacrifice all employees are making.

"They were going to be asked to make huge sacrifices, and with the grand bargain there's an opportunity to ask them to sacrifice less. But they still are making a sacrifice and no one should ever forget that," says Gov. Snyder.

And Shirley Lightsey says they won't. The president of the Detroit Retired City Employee Association is also urging retirees to vote yes.

"We can't eat principles and uncertainty does not pay the bills," she says.

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr did not comment on the signing of the grand bargain, but he is issuing his own plea to city workers and retirees.

"You need to vote yes. A no vote is not in your interest. A no vote is against you - not against the plan. The plan has a plan B: you lose 30 cents at least, worse health care for actives and retirees, because all this is settlement, and that's my plan. The creditors will say, 'You didn't vote yes to protect yourself. Let's take even more.' So, it might get worse than even I think it is, just like it's better now than I thought it would be," he says.

Votes are due in by July 11.
  • Amy LangeMore from Amy LangeMore>>

  • Former SMART employee's lawsuit battle drags on after 10 years

    Former SMART employee's lawsuit battle drags on after 10 years

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:49 PM EDT2014-08-28 03:49:24 GMT
    The case was originally about workplace discrimination. Now it's dragged on for more than a decade despite the case appearing to be one that the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation can't win.
    The case was originally about workplace discrimination. Now it's dragged on for more than a decade despite the case appearing to be one that the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation can't win.
  • Family's home hit hard by storms for second time

    Family's home hit hard by storms for second time

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:51 PM EDT2014-08-28 00:51:07 GMT
    For Ericka Page, first came the flood, then the gas line break and Tuesday, the massive tree limb that broke off with part of it landing on her house.
    For Ericka Page, first came the flood, then the gas line break and Tuesday, the massive tree limb that broke off with part of it landing on her house.
  • Police investigate connection of Southfield suicide and Detroit homicide

    Police investigate connection of Southfield suicide and Detroit homicide

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:26 PM EDT2014-08-27 22:26:24 GMT
    Police have identified a man's body with a gunshot wound to the chest found under an overpass at 9 Mile and Southfield Tuesday afternoon.At about the time Michael Young, 56, was found, Detroit Police were called to his home - on Westmoreland for a welfare check."The Woman had not been seen since Saturday," said Detroit Police Officer Adam Madera. "We received a 911 call for the well being check and Southfield Police Department showed up all at the same time."Inside police found the body of 56...
    Police have identified a man's body with a gunshot wound to the chest found under an overpass at 9 Mile and Southfield Tuesday afternoon.At about the time Michael Young, 56, was found, Detroit Police were called to his home - on Westmoreland for a welfare check."The Woman had not been seen since Saturday," said Detroit Police Officer Adam Madera. "We received a 911 call for the well being check and Southfield Police Department showed up all at the same time."Inside police found the body of 56...
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Detroit's historic bankruptcy trial to begin

    Detroit's historic bankruptcy trial to begin

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:24 AM EDT2014-09-02 11:24:04 GMT
    The trial to determine whether bankrupt Detroit's restructuring plan will be approved is set to begin today.

    The trial to determine whether bankrupt Detroit's restructuring plan will be approved is set to begin today.

  • Child, 3, hospitalized after falling from second-story window

    Child, 3, hospitalized after falling from second-story window

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:31 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:31:18 GMT
    A 3-year-old child is receiving treatment at St. John hospital after falling from a second-story window in Detroit this weekend.
    A 3-year-old child is receiving treatment at St. John hospital after falling from a second-story window in Detroit this weekend.
  • Boy, 5, thrown from father's dirt bike and run over

    Boy, 5, thrown from father's dirt bike and run over

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:18 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:18:50 GMT
    Residents inside Northport Apartments in Macomb Township say that Sunday afternoon they saw a 27-year-old neighbor riding a dirt bike with his 5-year-old son along busy Garfield Road.Neighbors say they've seen him riding before -- but this time he had his child with him."The first thing that caught my eye was he was riding in his dad's lap," neighbor Tim Hale said. "And they were weaving throughout drainage ditches which are pretty steep." Macomb County sheriffs say the small, orange dirt bik...
    Residents inside Northport Apartments in Macomb Township say that Sunday afternoon they saw a 27-year-old neighbor riding a dirt bike with his 5-year-old son along busy Garfield Road.Neighbors say they've seen him riding before -- but this time he had his child with him."The first thing that caught my eye was he was riding in his dad's lap," neighbor Tim Hale said. "And they were weaving throughout drainage ditches which are pretty steep." Macomb County sheriffs say the small, orange dirt bik...
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices