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Dave Bing, Detroit City Unions Reach Tentative Agreement On Major Concessions

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Mayor Dave Bing and bargaining teams from the city's non-uniformed public unions have reached an agreement that would change workers' current contract to exact deep concessions.

The mayor announced the tentative deal in a press release Thursday afternoon.

“The tentative agreement we've reached is not just about concessions. It's about how labor and management can work together in a fair and constructive way," said Bing. "The agreement provides checks and balances that hold both unions and my administration accountable."

Bing's plan to restructure the city's debt and finances hinged on changing health care and pension benefits for city workers, as well as laying off as many as 1,000 employees.

In November, the mayor announced Detroit would face a $45 million budget shortfall. That news that prompted a state financial review that could lead to the appointment of an emergency manager to take control of the city.

Bing has said he wants to avoid an emergency manager, and has worked out his own plan that seeks savings through cuts to city workers and privatizing some city services.

Just 25 of the city's 48 public sector unions agreed to tentative deals Wednesday night, and those new contracts will still have to come to a vote before union membership.

"This agreement is recognition of the contributions our coalition of unions make to the city,” said Ed McNeil, special assistant to President Al Garrett, AFSCME Council 25, who co-chaired the coalition’s negotiating team. "We used our collective voice to reach an equitable solution."

The Detroit Free Press reports concessions "weren't as significant as Bing initially demanded," noting the city will continue to split health care costs with employees 80/20.

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