The city and the Detroit Police Officers Association, the union representing patrol officers, say they have reached an agreement on some terms of what could become a five-year contract, the federal court bankruptcy mediators announced tonight. The deal includes wages, health care benefits and pensions, and union leaders now say they support the city’s Plan of Adjustment and urge a “yes” vote.
Of course ballots from the DPOA’s roughly 1,900 members are due in California by Friday, so unless there is a mass expedited mailing, leadership’s promotion of a favorable vote may not matter much to the election results.
Under the current terms of the Plan of Adjustment, the city’s “blueprint” of how it will restructure debt and services post-bankruptcy, retired police have no cuts to their pensions, take a reduced cost-of-living increase and assume more of their health care costs. But those provisions only happen with a favorable vote on the plan from the two classes of pensioners: the non-uniform (or general service) employees and police and fire fighters.
Without favorable votes, cuts to pensions and other benefits are much steeper.
The DPOA was one of the few employee groups that had not reached an agreement through mediation with the city. Its attorneys had been highly critical of the city in court filings, and DPOA is one of the parties appealing Judge Steven Rhodes ruling that the city was eligible to file for bankruptcy. Last week, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati scheduled arguments on that appeal for July 30.
If pensioners vote in favor of the plan, they agree to drop the litigation.
The city’s bankruptcy trial is set to begin Aug. 14.