(WWJ) Labor unions representing local governments will be at the state capitol this week trying to beat back efforts by some Republicans to reduce or eliminate some retiree benefits.

WWJ’s Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick said Michigan lawmakers have six days left in their year and labor leaders are concerned that health care benefits for retirees  — cops and firefighters, especially — could be at risk.

“That’s a tremendous difference and it affects that five, that three people who may not live in the community at all. (They) can impose reductions on retirement benefits or increases in revenues over the objections of the local unit of government and the local employee and retiree groups,” union lobbyist Nick Shermantero said.

Shermanto said some House Republicans want to allow local units of government to change retirement plans at will.

“Modification could mean elimination,” he said.

On the other hand, Republicans say they’re trying to save the system for retirees.


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