Officials urge pensioners to approve deal after grand bargain si

Officials urge pensioners to approve deal after grand bargain signing

Posted: Updated:
DETROIT (WJBK) - Amid all the smiles and the handshakes, there is still real concern here. Just because the governor has signed the grand bargain doesn't mean it's a go.

"Detroit, Michigan means something special. It's not Detroit versus Michigan or Michigan versus Detroit - it's Detroit, Michigan and we should hold our heads proud!" says Gov. Rick Snyder, ready to sign the bills known as the grand bargain.

That's the 800 million dollar deal to save the art at the DIA and the pensions of the city's employees. Lawmakers, corporations, foundations are committing major money as part of the plan.

"We went across the aisle, we worked together and it was about people it wasn't about politics," says Senator Randy Richardville.

"We all basically want the same thing: a good-paying job, a safe community for our families and a quality education for our children. A protracted bankruptcy for Detroit cripples our ability to achieve those things and, quite frankly, lawyers will be the only ones that win in court," says Representative Thomas Stallworth.

The bill signings commit 195 million dollars from the state. It was held at the old Globe Building on Detroit's riverfront, which is newly renovated and a soon-to-be outdoor adventure center. It's the kind of rebirth that those gathered here are hoping for in Detroit.

They say this grand bargain is the key to bringing Detroit out of bankruptcy and back under local control.

"What you have done with this bill is give us a fresh chance and I think in the coming years it's going to turn out to be one of the most proudest things you did in the your political careers," says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

But many here worry none of that will happen if the city's retirees and active employees vote no on the plan of adjustment, meaning all of the money in the grand bargain goes away and they say cuts to pensions will be even deeper.

It's been a bitter pill to swallow for all of them.

"It will not be easy for any retiree to vote yes but there is no other reasonable option," says Don Taylor of the Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association. "Voting no is not going to prevent your benefits from being reduced; just the opposite will occur. It will double the reduction."

Police and fire retirees are being urged to vote yes but the unions for Detroit police and fire active employees say they're not commenting on their position right now as they are still in talks with the city.

Meantime, the governor says he's aware of the sacrifice all employees are making.

"They were going to be asked to make huge sacrifices, and with the grand bargain there's an opportunity to ask them to sacrifice less. But they still are making a sacrifice and no one should ever forget that," says Gov. Snyder.

And Shirley Lightsey says they won't. The president of the Detroit Retired City Employee Association is also urging retirees to vote yes.

"We can't eat principles and uncertainty does not pay the bills," she says.

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr did not comment on the signing of the grand bargain, but he is issuing his own plea to city workers and retirees.

"You need to vote yes. A no vote is not in your interest. A no vote is against you - not against the plan. The plan has a plan B: you lose 30 cents at least, worse health care for actives and retirees, because all this is settlement, and that's my plan. The creditors will say, 'You didn't vote yes to protect yourself. Let's take even more.' So, it might get worse than even I think it is, just like it's better now than I thought it would be," he says.

Votes are due in by July 11.
  • Amy LangeMore from Amy LangeMore>>

  • Three arrested after military reservist killed during carjacking

    Three arrested after military reservist killed during carjacking

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:01:39 GMT
    A third suspect is under arrest in the carjacking and murder of a young man outside the Superland Market at Schoolcraft Road and Rutland Street Monday night.
    A third suspect is under arrest in the carjacking and murder of a young man outside the Superland Market at Schoolcraft Road and Rutland Street Monday night.
  • Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:10 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:10:35 GMT
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
  • Charges to be determined after teen dies in car crash

    Charges to be determined after teen dies in car crash

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:59 PM EDT2014-07-28 23:59:07 GMT
    Seven teenagers were on their way back from a bonfire late Friday night. A 16-year-old girl was behind the wheel of the Ford Expedition with her mom also in the car.
    Seven teenagers were on their way back from a bonfire late Friday night. A 16-year-old girl was behind the wheel of the Ford Expedition with her mom also in the car.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • FBI execute search warrant in connection to murder of Armada Teen, April Millsap

    FBI execute search warrant in connection to murder of Armada Teen, April Millsap

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 2:08 PM EDT2014-07-30 18:08:43 GMT
    The FBI is searching a house is near Wales Center and Marquette roads in Wales Township in St. Clair County in connection to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap of Armada.
    The FBI is searching a house is near Wales Center and Marquette roads in Wales Township in St. Clair County in connection to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap of Armada.
  • Detroit Tigers Minor League Pitcher charged with sexual assault.

    Detroit Tigers Minor League Pitcher charged with sexual assault.

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:46 AM EDT2014-07-30 15:46:42 GMT
    Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced Wednesday that former Detroit Tigers pitcher, Evan Reed, is charged with two counts of third degree criminal sexual conduct.
    Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced Wednesday that former Detroit Tigers pitcher, Evan Reed, is charged with two counts of third degree criminal sexual conduct.
  • Attorney wants investigation of city clerk over Arab-American voter suppression

    Attorney wants investigation of city clerk over Arab-American voter suppression

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:43 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:43:20 GMT
    It is the tale of two cities. one paints a picture of a meticulous Dearborn Heights city clerk, following the law and fighting for a fair election. The other a story of abuse of power, mishandled ballots and voter suppression.Fatima Abdrabboh is an attorney and Michigan's director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee the largest chapter in the country. She is calling for a full-scale investigation into claims that Walter Prusiewicz mishandled ballots from Arab-American voters fo...
    It is the tale of two cities. one paints a picture of a meticulous Dearborn Heights city clerk, following the law and fighting for a fair election. The other a story of abuse of power, mishandled ballots and voter suppression.Fatima Abdrabboh is an attorney and Michigan's director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee the largest chapter in the country. She is calling for a full-scale investigation into claims that Walter Prusiewicz mishandled ballots from Arab-American voters fo...
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices