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Bing and coalition of unions agree on concessions

DETROIT (Tell Us Det) - Members of the City’s non-uniform coalition of unions reached a tentative agreement with Mayor Bing and his negotiating team last night.

This tentative agreement is the first meaningful step in achieving the necessary concessions and structural changes to resolve the city’s financial crisis.

Bing said Thursday that the deal was reached Wednesday night, though union members still have to ratify it.

Details of the agreement haven't been released. The mayor had been seeking concessions on issues including pensions and health care.

“The tentative agreement we’ve reached is not just about concessions. It’s about how labor and management can work together in a fair and constructive way,” said Mayor Dave Bing. “The agreement provides checks and balances that hold both unions and my administration accountable.”

Coalition leadership will present the tentative agreement to its members to review and ratify it before a final agreement by 6,000 employees can be reached.

The tentative agreement represents a breakthrough in tense and urgent negotiations after defiant labor unions, which took 10% wage reductions nearly three years ago, resisted cuts to pension and health care benefits.

“The negotiations were challenging, but this agreement is recognition of the contributions our coalition of unions make to the city,” said Ed McNeil, special assistant to President Al Garrett, AFSCME Council 25, who co-chaired the coalition’s negotiating team. “We used our collective voice to reach an equitable solution.”

“It means we can all get back to work with a renewed sense of mission to continue to provide the residents of Detroit with the services they expect,” said Joe Valenti, president of Teamsters Local 214, who also co-chaired the coalition’s negotiating team.