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DETROIT MAYOR YOUNG ISSUES STATEMENT ON CONTRACT TALKS

 DETROIT MAYOR YOUNG ISSUES STATEMENT ON CONTRACT TALKS
 DETROIT, July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Mayor Coleman A. Young said


Wednesday he intends to fulfill his responsibility to balance the city budget, despite the illegal interference in the collective bargaining process by some members of city council and the subsequent rejection of a contract by members of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees union.
 As the result of that rejection, he said, 125 city employees will be laid off, effective Fri., July 17, the mayor said he also has accelerated a study of the possible privatization of some city services, such as has already been done with the management of city golf courses and the collection of parking tickets.
 "As the mayor, I have a legal responsibility under the charter, to balance the budget." the mayor said. "I must take whatever actions are necessary to keep the budget balanced and I intend to do just that.
 "I deeply regret the need to impose these layoffs, because any approach to our labor negotiations this year has been that layoffs would only be used as a last resort. However, with the rejection by members of AFSCME of the contract that was developed last week through collective bargaining, these layoffs must be made if the city is to live within our means.
 "Our goal in labor negotiations has been to achieve savings of 10 percent in labor costs. If we cannot achieve the savings through concessions shared by all employees, then layoffs and further privatization are our only alternative."
 The mayor said it was clear that actions taken by some members of city council had undercut the agreement with AFSCME and resulted in the rejection of the contract.
 "After one union had ratified a 10 percent reduction, and two others had reached tentative agreement on a 10 percent reduction, some members of council were reportedly in contact with members of the union telling them they did not need to take a 10 percent reduction," the mayor said,
 "Some of those members began publicly declaring they did not support a 10 percent reduction.
 "Now, council has voted to only take a two percent reduction for themselves," the mayor said. "They further voted for a provision that said their staff and higher paid city administrators should only have to take a two percent cut.
 "The reaction of AFSCME members voting on their contract, once they learned of council's actions, was predictable. Even I, who have been critical of council in the past, would never have believed they would take an action so destructive of the well-being of the city.
 "Yet, responsibility for this rejection clearly lies at their feet. It is simply incomprehensible, at a time when the city faces serious fiscal problems, why the council would take actions that add dramatically to those fiscal problems."
 In addition to the layoffs, the mayor said the city will take several other actions to cut its personnel costs. For instance, he said, the city is notifying AFSCME that it will stop paying the salaries of 17 AFSCME local presidents and two stewards who traditionally have been paid by the city while working for the union. He said the city also is discontinuing a special sickness and accident plan that has been in place for AFSCME employees in the department of transportation. Those employees now will be covered by the regular sick leave provisions that apply to all other city employees.
 "I anticipate that we will resume negotiations with AFSCME in the near-future," the mayor said. "If we cannot reach an agreement in the next two weeks. I will be forced to order another round of layoffs by August 1. This city will have a balanced budget one way or the other."
 The agreement that was rejected provided for 36 paid hours per week for members of AFSCME, resulting in a 10 percent reduction in costs for the new fiscal year. The Teamsters, who represent nearly 1,000 employees already have ratified a similar agreement. A tentative agreement with some 470 employees represented by the building trades council that has yet to be voted on also provides for a 10 percent reduction in costs. AFSCME represents nearly 6,000 civilian city employees.
 -0- 7/15/92
 /CONTACT: Bob Berg of the Detroit Mayor's office, 313-224-1544/ CO: ST: Michigan IN: SU :


LD -- NY110 -- 9811 07/15/92 21:14 EDT
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Date:Jul 15, 1992
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