DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The most recent end-of-the-year bonus checks issued by cash-strapped Detroit to nonunion city employees may be the last.
In a statement issued Thursday, Mayor Dave Bing said he plans to end longevity payments for non-union workers and managers.
“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,” Bing said in the statement. “I expect that once the appropriate ordinance amendment is received by City Council, the longevity bonus payments will end for non-union employees.”
The city issued the longevity pay bonus checks last Friday to city employees and managers. They ranged from $150 for five years of service to $750 for 26 years.
City workers have been receiving longevity pay since the ordinance was passed in 1964, during a time when the city had a thriving tax base instead of massive financial problems.
Officials say 697 union workers and 451 non-union employees received longevity bonus payments this year totaling more than $496,000. Reports say that’s huge decrease from last year’s payout of just over $4.1 million.
It wasn’t immediately clear why union employees received the checks this year, since longevity pay for union members ended in 2009.
Detroit is deep in debt and has a budget deficit of more than $200 million. Officials in Detroit are trying to fend off appointment of an emergency manager, but state treasurer Andy Dillon this month announced a potential first step in that direction, saying he was leaning toward ordering a new review of the city’s finances.
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