Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 How should the mayor negotiate with the city unions? Previous Next
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Dougw
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Username: Dougw

Post Number: 1035
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 136.1.1.101
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 4:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

From the article in this thread: https://www.atdetroit.net/forum/mes sages/5/68842.html?1143081836


quote:

... The city's unions, despite more than a year of negotiations, have not agreed to concessions. With city union benefit packages reaching 90 percent of basic salaries for many workers, compared to an average of 30 percent in the private sector, some in the Kilpatrick administration have suggested cutting whole departments, such as recreation and health. ...




We've talked about receivership on this board, but we haven't really delved into this topic.

This seems to be the most critical single item in avoiding receivership. For whatever reason, it seems that Kwame hasn't been able to negotiate any concessions from the city unions. Why hasn't he? Is there a solution?

Has the threat of receivership (which would void union contracts) not been used effectively enough as a bargaining tool? Does he need to hire a union negotiating guru?

Or is it more that the unions would rather see some jobs eliminitated instead of reductions in pay/benefits? (which is admittedly not an uncommon thing for a union to want)

So many questions... discuss. :-)
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 7057
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 198.208.251.24
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 4:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The city unions will do themselves in due to their stubborness. I will be happy when it happens.
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Dougw
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Username: Dougw

Post Number: 1036
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 136.1.1.101
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 4:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"do themselves in" meaning letting receivership happen and having their contracts voided? I suppose that is highly possible. I assume a receiver would have authority to privatize some services, then.

I'd think the unions would want to avoid receivership at all costs.

Other services such as the Police Department, I assume would probably always be represented by a union, ever after receivership?
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Crew
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Username: Crew

Post Number: 879
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 146.9.52.21
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 4:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Privatize everything....including city council
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 7058
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 198.208.251.24
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 4:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

I'd think the unions would want to avoid receivership at all costs.




I agree but it doesn't look like they are making any effort.


quote:

Other services such as the Police Department, I assume would probably always be represented by a union, ever after receivership?




Again, I agree. The police need unions just to ensure that they get a fair hearing during any administrative process. I just wish they would protect the good workers and not allow the bad ones to hde behind the union.
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River_rat
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Username: River_rat

Post Number: 56
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 68.166.44.44
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 4:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The process of dealing with the 'government unions' has dogged Detroit for years. The question of receivership has been addressed in this forum on many occasions in the past and all of the related issues discussed on and on.The receiver (really a bankruptcy manager) would have the court directed power to do all necessary to resuscutate the entity. Receivership implies that there will be a continuance of the entity after the fiscal problems have been addressed and solved.

As much as I love the entity in question (Detroit), a more salient question is, should there be a Detroit? Many of our small suburban neighbors have very responsive and successful governments. The spectre of deconstructing Detroit and forming small and responsive units should be a consideration.

The experience with the schools this week is continuing evidence of the ongoing intransigence of management and labor that has, again, injured the kids most. A much smaller, locally controlled school system would eliminate these problems. End the city, make small governmental units and succeed.

I'll buy Belle Isle.


the river rat
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Ilovedetroit
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Username: Ilovedetroit

Post Number: 2163
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 24.172.45.2
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 4:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Remember that none of the major unions supported the mayor for re-election so he really owes them very little.
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Crew
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Username: Crew

Post Number: 880
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 146.9.52.21
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 4:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rivert rat, Reverse annexation is an interesting concept.
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Dougw
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Username: Dougw

Post Number: 1038
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 136.1.1.101
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 5:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good point, ILD. Probably one reason KK isn't getting anywhere with the unions is that they were never allies to begin with. Still, at some point they need to work together to make something happen.
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River_rat
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Username: River_rat

Post Number: 57
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 68.166.44.44
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 5:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sovereignty is the term that defines a governmental unit and secession is the deconstruction of that unit. Our most famous example of that resulted in the Civil War. The cession of territory of a sovereign unit is the peaceful resolution of territorial right. Detroit does not work as a sovereign unit. Therfore the possibility of ceded units of the city that could be sucessful is a plausible solution.

Should be considered.


the river rat wants Belle Isle
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Crew
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Username: Crew

Post Number: 881
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 146.9.52.21
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 5:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Do you think a ward system instead of an at large city council would accomplish much of the same desired results?
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River_rat
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Username: River_rat

Post Number: 59
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 68.166.44.44
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 5:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No, The ward system retains a single police, fire, school, etc., etc. Same problems, slightly different system. Radical change is required to save the parts worth saving.


the river rat
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Rustic
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Username: Rustic

Post Number: 2247
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 130.132.177.245
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 5:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah it worked so well in yugoslavia ... lol!

seriously tho, sure ya could build a wall around, say the Rosedale Parks and you'd have a little town maybe one tick up from Huntington Woods on the social food chain ... but what about other parts of the city ... consider suburbs facing similar challenges as parts of Detroit: Highland Park, Hamtramack, Melvindale, Inkster, Ecorse, Hazel Park, Warren ... those are hardly choice towns and their city services are nuthin to get excited about AND their brightest kids don't even remotely have a chance to attend Cass Tech (forget about Renaissance).

river rat ... imo you are gonna have to keep dreaming up ways to git yer mits on BI, lol, that one is just silly.
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Mikefive
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Username: Mikefive

Post Number: 2
Registered: 11-2005
Posted From: 209.69.165.10
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 5:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Being a city union worker, there is a difference between negotiation and the administration coming in and saying, "This is how much you will pay for health care, there is no discussion, agree to this or there will be layoffs" which is how the "proposal" was presented to us last year. We all agree that there has to be some change, but you cant tell a secretary thats only making about 26,000 a year she has to take a 10% cut and then have her health care coverage go from $30.00 a pay for her and her kids to $120.00 a pay. You gotta meet somewhere half way.
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River_rat
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Username: River_rat

Post Number: 60
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 68.166.44.44
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 5:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rustic, the offer always stands. My group will help the city with its financial woes by purchasing the bridge and Belle Isle for one-half a billion dollars.


the river rat lives on BI
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3408
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 5:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Unincorporating Detroit is an intersting concept, but one I've never heard happening here in Michigan. And with Detroit's history I don't think anyone would even want to seriously propose splintering Detroit into small units. The state doesn't have the balls to propose it, and the citizens wouldn't have it. I'm quite sure it would have to go to a ballot proposal.

Now splitting Detroit into wards under one government is an option, but one that has little to no connection to proposing the city be fractured.

The closest thing I've heard to this type of proposal in Michigan would be when old villages and cities willingly unincorporated to become part of townships and charter townships when they were given more power under the Michigan constitution of 1963 (our most recent constitution). I just don't see current-day Detroit ever being unincorporated back into the townships that use to make up the area.
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River_rat
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Username: River_rat

Post Number: 61
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 68.166.44.44
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 5:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lmichigan, very correct. It can be done under the Michigan Constitution. The viability of the city and the problems we all understand might make the electorate consider it. Detroit annexed large areas in the past; the reverse is just as rational.


river rat
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Metrodetguy
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Username: Metrodetguy

Post Number: 2440
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 69.221.70.255
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 5:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Remember that "Ilovedetroit" is a complete phony who takes every opportunity to promote Kilpatrick's agenda.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3410
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 5:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Metro, quit the crap, right now. This is at least the third post I've seen you trolling. Don't even try and ruin this one, too.

River Rat, have you ever heard of such a large city unincorporating? I ask, because this would be a radical idea of any city over a certain size, and defintely for such an segregated metro. Detroiters will be willing to give up a lot. They will never be willing to effectively give up their city in this way. And I can't say that I would blame them. While the city is in trouble, it's no more so than Flint or Highland Park was, and they didn't need to be unincorporated. I know that size is definitely a factor in considering unincorporation, but Flint is 35 square miles in area. What kind of splintering are your thinking about? i.e. the size of each area, population...?
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River_rat
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Username: River_rat

Post Number: 63
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 68.166.44.44
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 5:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No other large cities (except maybe New Orleans) face the problems that Detroit and Flint are saddled with at this time; therefore no other large city has considered unincorporation.

I don't have the answers (well, I really do) but, in our form of government the real solutions need the support of the electorate. As you point out, this would be difficult to achieve; not because it wouldn't work, but because the electorate is what brought us to where we are.

New Orleans has even greater problems than Detroit. Their governing bodies are notoriously corrupt and self-preserving (sound familiar) and their city is even more wrecked than ours. On my recent visits there, I have heard whisperings that there is a possibility that the new population of NO will make the city an entirely different and better place. Strange talk.

the river rat
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3412
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 5:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think we differ, here, on a key point. I'm not so sure that even as bad a state as Detroit is in that fracturing the state's largest city (and still one of the largest in the country) is in the best interest of the citizens. Sure, it all breaks down to numbers, but we're talking history, here, as well as the fact that the problem facing the metro area already is that it has too many warring and canabalizing incorporated communities, let alone adding a dozen more. This makes sense on paper, I don't think it translates to the real world at all with the state that the entire metro is in. First off, it's obvious that this would not help the social decay of the city, at all. Imagine the outcry at which of these small cities would get downtown, midtown, east riverfront...? Once again, dividing people along race and class lines and creating MORE friction.
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Metrodetguy
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Username: Metrodetguy

Post Number: 2441
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 69.221.70.255
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 6:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LMich, give me a f---- break. Like I said, you need to focus on getting more things right first, before you worry about anything else. Spare me the self-righteous indignation. On the contrary, this is at least the third post that I've seen you try to make excuses for "ILD" and try to give that person some type of credibility.

With that said, it is entirely fair to point out "ILD's" complete lack of credibility and "trolling" for all things Kilpatrick, given the topic at hand, and "ILD' chiming in to support KK and lay blame complete blame on city unions.
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Eastsidedog
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Username: Eastsidedog

Post Number: 45
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 69.220.142.7
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 6:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lmichigan, I generally agree with you but River Rat does bring up an important point, that Detroit City government does not serve all of its residents equally. A ward system for CC would be a step in the right direction, but all big city's have disempowered neighborhoods - neighborhoods with little political clout. Sorry to continue this OT.

Back to the unions, I think the administration should reduce benefits to 30% of pay (the private sector avg.) and give everyone a 20% raise for a net savings of .40 on the dollar (or something to that effect, sorry my math's fuzzy). But seriously the costs of healthcare are skyrocketing so cut healthcare and offer more pay to attact good young workers.
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Jimaz
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Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 527
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 68.2.191.57
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 6:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

... deconstructing Detroit ...


Consolidating organizations is normally expected to gain efficiency from economy of scale. How would that economy of scale not be lost by deconstructing Detroit? Are we to assume that it's already been lost anyway from large-scale bureaucratic inefficiency?

Interesting subject.
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Ilovedetroit
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Username: Ilovedetroit

Post Number: 2164
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 24.172.45.2
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 6:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You make some good points easidedog...but a 20% raise for poor performers is unacceptable EVEN for benie cuts. Remember these people were promised something when hired. I am leaning towards - benefit cuts over time, with higher co-pays immediately on benefits (based on hire history), coupled with early retirements and buyouts. We also need to implement (like most companies do) performance evaluation plans to move the below C performers out!
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Eastsidedog
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Username: Eastsidedog

Post Number: 51
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 69.220.142.7
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 6:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ilovedetroit, I generally agree. Probably the best thing would be to eliminate most of the unions altogether. Most workers in any sector aren't in unions anymore anyways and we seem to be fine. But that will likely never happen, it is better to put the union pay and benefits more in line with the private sector. and let them still pay their silly dues if they want. Sorry, I'm obviously no lover of unions. Most young people like myself hate them and see them as relics of the past, but recognize that they once were very important.
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Ilovedetroit
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Username: Ilovedetroit

Post Number: 2166
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 24.172.45.2
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 7:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am a supporter of unions - but they need to do some serious reorganizing and image change - basically they need to change with the times ie., benefit changes, performance review, disciplinary plans and reward for excellence performers. These are some examples that I can think of.

Thanks
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Steelworker
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Username: Steelworker

Post Number: 612
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 68.249.240.213
Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 2:26 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

He just needs to talk to president of my company he is doing a wonderfull job of neutralizing our union to the point we will not want it anymore.

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