Detroit Police claim “Cynical Treatment” by city in Chapter 9 case

Detroit Police claim “Cynical Treatment” by city in Chapter 9 case

Detroit’s police officer and fire fighter unions have not reached contract agreements with the city during the bankruptcy proceedings, and based on a court filing Friday, it’s not sounding like the police will any time soon.

The Detroit Police Officers Association filed an Objection to the city’s Plan of Adjustment, and it’s highly critical of the city’s actions. The officers’ group claims Detroit and the state have used PA 436, the law providing for emergency managers and the bankruptcy’s prohibition on lawsuits against the city to avoid arbitration with employees.

The Detroit Free Press writes:

The union argues that the city is punishing the DPOA for not coming to an agreement, and that the federal bankruptcy code can’t be used to either impose lesser terms on the union compared to city unions that have agreed to settlements, or to strip them of rights to bargain employment conditions. The union also notes that other financial creditors are arguing that the city’s proposed pension cuts — now reduced to 0% for the PFRS and 4.5% for the General Retirement System — are unfair since other creditors are taking deeper hits.

Indeed, the city and several of its employee groups — the court-mandated Official Committee on Retirees and a coalition of employee unions including the American Federal of State, County an Municipal Employees local council — have agreed on terms of deals related to contracts and other employee provisions.

But the DPOA’s objection doesn’t make it sound like they’re even close to a deal. The court filing reads:

The City’s cynical treatment of the men and women who provide “core” and “essential” police protection is the punishment the members of the DPOA stand to receive because they have reached what would otherwise be a readily resolvable impasse with the City as to economic terms of a collective bargaining agreement.

Judge Steven Rhodes will ultimately decide on the feasibility and reasonableness of the city’s post-bankruptcy plan at a hearing scheduled to begin July 24.

Here is the text of the full Objection:

5.16.14 DPOA Objection to PoA