36th District Court wants to cut union workers' pay 10 percent

36th District Court wants to cut union workers' pay 10 percent

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Detroit's 36th District Court Detroit's 36th District Court
DETROIT (WJBK) -

A union representing more than 200 workers at Detroit's 36th District Court received a letter that basically said negotiations are at an impasse, and the court will be imposing a ten percent wage cut and a switch in health insurance.

They have until Friday, August 16 to accept the one-year contract. Debra Beal, president of AFSCME Local 3308, doubts that will happen.

"I haven't had a raise in ten years. We haven't had a contract since 2006," she said.

"How could we live? Basically, we're coming to work for free," said Latifa Turner.

Labor activist Robert David claimed Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Michael Talbot, who was recently appointed by the state to balance the court's budget and cleanup the chaos at 36th District Court, has not negotiated in good faith.

Talbot has already laid off more than 100 workers and outsourced services.

Davis claimed they have suggested other cost cutting measures, including furlough days, but that was rejected.

"One of the things that we're going to do, we're going to fight for their rights, and we're going ensure that Judge Talbot and his legal team does not get away with this," Davis said.

As this group works to determine its next move, some workers can't help but think it's just a matter of time before the court will be dissolved altogether.

We did reach Talbot by telephone. He said he does not discuss negotiations and referred us to his labor attorney. We have yet to hear back from that individual.

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