The powerful nine-member financial advisory board that oversees Detroit’s consent decree with Michigan undertook its first major action last week, approving $102 million of cuts proposed by Mayor Dave Bing.
The plan includes a 10% wage reduction and benefit cuts, as well as other reductions, such as limiting overtime.
As allowed under the three-month-old consent decree, the changes were imposed without union approval or negotiation.
The wage cuts also apply to police and firefighters.
The cuts are part of Bing’s fiscal 2013 budget, which relies on $250 million of savings.
The budget also calls for laying off roughly 2,600 of the city’s 11,000 employees.
Union officials blasted the move, according to published reports.
“I don’t think there’s a significant change in what was recommended today and what was agreed to with the unions early on,” Darrell Burks, one of the board’s nine members, said in local media. “I think it’s a good first step.”
Meanwhile, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Amy Hathaway set a July 26 date for the next hearing on a lawsuit filed by three Detroit residents who argue that the consent decree is invalid because the state owes the city money, a violation of state law.
Hathaway granted Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s request to join the case as an interested party.
In a separate action on the same case, Michigan bond counsel firm Miller Canfield, hired by Bing, argued that Detroit corporation counsel Krystal Crittendon should be disqualified as the city’s lawyer in the lawsuit, because she had previously filed a lawsuit that makes the same argument challenging the consent agreement.
Hathaway did not rule on that motion.