Pensioners vote “yes,” accept cuts and “grand bargain”

Pensioners vote “yes,” accept cuts and “grand bargain”

Detroit’s pensioners passed the city’s bankruptcy restructuring plan — including cuts to their monthly payments, cost-of-living allowances and health care benefits — by wide margins, according to court documents filed last night.

The favorable vote from both the police and fire fighters as well as non-uniform, general service workers means the “grand bargain” money becomes available to fund pensions. The deal includes $195 million from the state, $366 from private foundations and $100 million pledged by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Terms of the grand bargain mean that museum’s collection cannot be sold to pay creditors and that pensioners agree to drop and not file in the future litigation related to the bankruptcy or the emergency manager law.

Of those who voted, about 82 percent of police and fire pensioners and 73 percent of general service workers voted to accept the plan. About half of those pensioners eligible to vote actually voted, according to court records. For the general service pensioners, the terms include 4.5 percent cuts to monthly payments, an elimination of cost-of-living increases and payback of some money they already received in annuity funds. For police and fire, monthly pensions are untouched but cost-of-living increases are cut.

Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes will consider the results during the confirmation hearing on the plan, scheduled to begin Aug. 14.

The city met its July 21 deadline by 33 minutes, filing the vote results in bankruptcy court at 11:27 p.m. EDT.

7.22.14 Bankruptcy Vote Results by WDET 101.9 FM