EM to Impose New Contract on Firefighters, Council Gives Time to Propose Alternative
Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley has notified Flint City Council of his intent to impose new employment terms on firefighters according to a news release from the city.
The Finance and Administrative Committee had a scheduled meeting for 5 p.m. on Monday to review Earley's letter and determine whether to recommend to the full city council whether to approve or disapprove the proposed implementations. MLive says the council voted in the meeting to meet again on Thursday, December 11 to give the Flint Firefighters Union a chance to propose an alternative that would save the city at least $600,000 a year and almost $6 million over the life of the deal. Council would then have seven days to decide whether to offer the alternative contract to the state.
Some of the changes proposed by Earley include enrolling new employees in a hybrid pension plan, capping retiree health care costs, implementing premium share for current employees' insurance and converting sick and vacation time into one Paid Time Off category while capping accumulations. The City says the changes proposed by Earley are consistent with the employment terms for all other city unions and non-union employees.
MLive also says Mark Kovach, president of the Flint Firefighters Unions, said the union can put together such a plan, but one that might be more favorable to firefighters on non-economic issues. Of the proposed changes from the city Kovach said "we were trying to negotiate something but this came up with very little dialogue."
Council members said they won't rubber stamp any proposal from the firefighters but agreed to give them the time to lay out an alternative.