Ficano's 20% county worker pay cut upheld

Aug 3, 2012

Today, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that when Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano imposed 20 percent pay cuts on county workers, he was acting within his rights, reports the Detroit Free Press.

Last month, Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reported that Ficano said he had to make the county department cuts in order to avoid fiscal disaster. The disaster, he said, resulted from property tax revenues that had plummeted and a $155 million accumulated county deficit.

In this morning's 2-1 decision, the court overturned last year's Wayne County circuit court ruling that Ficano's cuts were "invalid," as the Wayne County Commission never approved them.

More from the Freep:

The appeals court majority said the executive was authorized under state labor law to impose a last best offer when bargaining with a public employee labor union reaches an impasse.

Late last year, Ficano and the union agreed to a contract calling for a 10% pay cut.

A spokeswoman for Ficano was not immediately available to comment on the ruling. Lawyers on both sides were also unavailable.

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom