Bloomberg News

Detroit Mayor Bing Strikes Agreement With Firefighters Union

February 20, 2012

Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Detroit firefighters reached a tentative deal with the city to help avoid a $200 million deficit and a possible state takeover.

Unions representing municipal employees have agreed to concessions including a 10 percent pay cut and reductions in health care and pension benefits. The agreement allows employees to recoup some pay if the city of 714,000 has a surplus. Police also reached a tentative settlement. Union members, including the 1,014 who belong to the Detroit Fire Fighters Association, still must ratify all three agreements.

“This tentative agreement achieved necessary cost-savings through staffing and operational improvements without compromising public safety,” Mayor Dave Bing said in a news release today. “In addition to this tentative agreement, I am especially pleased with the union’s efforts in resolving long- standing arbitration issues.”

Bing has begun dismissing 1,000 employees and has called for givebacks from labor to save $360 million through June 30, 2013.

It isn’t clear how much the concessions would save and whether they’re enough to head off state action. A review team is investigating city finances to determine whether it needs an emergency manager with broad powers to cut spending in the home of General Motors Co. The team must report to Governor Rick Snyder by March.

--Editors: Stephen Merelman, Mike Millard

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Christoff in Lansing at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at

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