Local AFSME members upset over bonus payment - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Local AFSME members upset over bonus payment

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BY ALEXIS WILEY
FOX 2 News


DETROIT, Mich (WJBK) -- "How dare the mayor do this.  It's frustrating," says June Nickleberry an AFSME City Employee.

City employees like June Nickleberry have already taken a 10 percent pay cut and now they're facing furloughs.

"They want to close city government down every Monday," says Catherine Phillips

an AFSME Retiree.

And AFSME leadership says those furlough days add up to a 20 percent pay cut...and that's on top of the ten percent their members have already swallowed. And the possibility of layoffs.

"That seems like cutting off you nose to spite your face because these people if they are not already seeking public assistance will be taking dollars from tax payers under public assistance. They won't be able to survive," says Phillips.

So you can imagine their reaction when they learned that more than 11 hundred union and non-union city employees received bonuses ranging from $150 to $750. Costing the city nearly $500,000.

"So this obviously has nothing to do with money or budget issues or finances.  This has to do with control and takeover," says Phillips

"He's full of it.  And it ain't right what he's doing," says Nickleberry.

So what's Mayor Bing have to say.  His office says those bonuses were an 89 percent decrease from last year's payout of more than 4 million dollars.  The mayor's statement says longevity bonus payments made to union employees were the result of previously negotiated contracts. The mayor brought council a resolution to end longevity bonuses this summer and they approved it in September. The law department is preparing an ordinance amendment to end longevity payments for non-union employees. The mayor says in part "One of my frustrations is that the city processes are antiquated and the length of time needed to bring about change is often inefficient and counterproductive.  I expect that once the appropriate ordinance is received by city council, the longevity bonus payments will end for non union employees."

"It just seems like it's unfair that they keep treating us like this," says Nickleberry.

The layoffs and furloughs are expected to go into effect sometime next year.

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