Financial Plan: Flint Union Contracts Under Review

FLINT (AP) – Flint’s city employee union contracts are under review for possible renegotiation, according to a new financial plan from a state-appointed emergency financial manager.

The plan includes Michael Brown’s suggestions for reducing the city’s projected $11.3 million deficit, The Flint Journal reported. A copy of the plan was released Tuesday.

According to the plan, Brown wants to cut costs through “negotiated union contracts, consolidation and shared services.” His next steps include restructuring collective bargaining agreements and reorganizing departments.

“It is a work in progress and it will be amended as necessary” Brown said in a statement released along with the plan. “The next step is the implementation process and I see that as being the most difficult challenge.”

Brown was appointed late last year. He has broad authority to make changes in the financially troubled city, including the power to oversee city government and toss out union contracts in some situations.

“Many of the plan’s proposals highlight the need for greater cooperation with the community and partners,” Flint Mayor Dayne Walling said in a statement. “Everyone needs to do their part to address Flint’s long-standing challenges.”

Under the plan, Brown also will work to develop the city’s 2013 budget.

Other ideas for improving the city’s finances include possibly disposing of unwanted city assets, including property or equipment, as well as consolidating 911 systems for the city and Genesee County.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder required Brown to submit the plan to the state within 45 days of his appointment. The state Department of Treasury said the plan will be reviewed and amended as necessary.

Emergency managers also are in place in Benton Harbor, Ecorse, Pontiac and the Detroit Public Schools. Detroit’s finances also are under a review, meaning Michigan’s largest city could be brought under state financial control.

© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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