The city has reached agreements with the leaders of several of its employee and retiree groups in the bankruptcy case. All of them are contingent upon passage of the “Grand Bargain,” and approval by the two classes of pensioners and employees during voting on the city’s Plan of Adjustment.
Here is a timeline and brief summary of the agreements:
April 15: Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association
The agreement includes no cuts to pension payments, a reduction by half of cost-of-living increases (with potential for restoration) and support of the new Voluntary Employee Benefits Association, which will assume responsibility for health care and other benefits instead of the city. The RDPFFA has about 6,500 members.
April 15: General Retirement System and the Police & Fire Retirement System
These are the pension systems for city employees and retirees. GRS has about 18,000 members while PFRS has about 8,500 beneficiaries. The PFRS agreement matches what the RDPFFA agreed to while the GRS agreement includes 4.5 percent reductions annually. GRS pensioners also will “repay’ through reduced pension payments up to 20 percent of annuity benefits they received because the rate of return paid on them often was higher than their actual rate of return. The excess money was taken from the general pension funds. The GRS board approved the deal April 16.
April 25: Official Committee of Retirees
This court-appointed committee, with its attorneys paid for by the city, represents all retirees. The committee agreed to the pension deals with some restored health care benefits for retirees.
April 28: Coalition of Labor Groups
Representing about 3,500 current city employees, the leaders of 30 different labor groups reached 5-year collective bargaining agreements with the city. Units of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 25 total 17 of the 30 groups involved.
May 2: Detroit Retired City Employee Association
The DRCEA board, representing about 7,900 members, approved the city’s proposal for pension payments and health care benefits.
The Detroit Police Officers Association has not agreed to the city’s proposal. Its president, Mark Diaz, has told WDET could sue to stop the Plan of Adjustment, and in court filings, the DPOA was highly critical, calling the city “cynical” in its treatment of public safety employees.
-By WDET’s Sandra Svoboda
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