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Tue April 3, 2012
Discussions continue, no vote yet on Detroit Consent Agreement
Gov. Snyder's administration and Detroit officials have been working towards a consent agreement to address the city's financial crisis. Legal challenges have stalled the Detroit City Council’s ability to vote on an agreement with the state.
Tuesday afternoon Detroit City Council decided there are too many unresolved legal questions about the consent agreement and decided not to vote, but they try again on Wednesday.
Michigan Radio's Detroit reporter Sarah Cwiek explains those uncertainties and what we might expect to see happen next.
First, Cwiek explains unions are upset. On Monday Detroit Deputy Mayor Kirk Lewis confirmed he won’t ask the City Council to approve new labor contracts for city workers. Union members says they gave up historic concessions in an effort to save money and avoid an emergency manager.
Gov. Snyder said those concessions don’t go far enough. And under a proposed consent agreement, city officials would have broad powers to skip collective bargaining and impose union contracts.
"So, the unions were very upset about that and immediately went to federal court and are now asking for an injunction against any consent agreement or kind of state interference that would happen, saying that this is interfering with their collective bargaining rights," Cwiek explains.
The second challenge has to do with the Open Meetings Act. Cwiek says, "A union activist Robert Davis has sued the state team reviewing Detroit's finances and that's an ongoing lawsuit in Ingham County Circuit Court over alleged open meeting act violations."
Cwiek says "there is a hearing that's suppose to take place in court on April 9 to determine whether or not any consent agreement agreement between the city of Detroit and the state is valid."
"There are still many questions about whether this could actually go forward and be an enforceable agreement. As one member of the city council said, this is all in the end going to be decided in court."