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‘Grand Bargain’ Doesn’t Feel Like A Deal For Protesting Retired City Workers

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A protester in Detroit. (WWJ/Stephanie Davis)

A protester in Detroit. (WWJ/Stephanie Davis)

DETROIT (WWJ) – Some city of Detroit retirees continue to speak out against Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan of adjustment. Dozens of former and current city employees protested outside the Federal Courthouse in Detroit Friday afternoon.

They say the cut to pensions is too much and they are encouraging their peers to vote ‘no’ on a ballot proposal.

David Sole retired from the Detroit Water Department after 30 years, he says after cuts to health care and previous reductions it averages out to be more than a 40 percent cut.

Rally 4 (SDavis)“So that’s like asking me, ‘should we cut off your left arm, is that okay – oh, you don’t want that? We’ll cut off both your legs.’ We say ‘no’ to both – I say ‘no’ to both – I’m not voting for this and I don’t buy their logic,” said Sole.

“(The ballot) doesn’t even make it clear,” he stressed, “so many people are going to be confused but they want to take, if you add everything up, it cost of living, which they don’t show on there and health care costs, which they don’t show on there. I estimate it’s a difference between a forty percent cut in my pension to a fifty or sixty percent cut.”

Henry Gaffney, former union head of D-DOT bus drivers says the plan cuts too deeply and the ballot issue is unclear:

“The ballot issue is so confusing, after the judge say put it in layman’s terms, you have to go to a class for two weeks with about 10 attorneys to understand what it is,” said Gaffney.

Kevyn Orr has said that the ‘Grand Bargain’ was the best deal for the city moving forward. Orr is still trying to convince the state legislature to allocate about 195-million dollars towards the plan.

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