© M Durfee8.12.2014
This one is VERY personal. In the 20 years I worked for the city of Detroit, I helped rebuild and repair 50KW turbines and generators while maintaining the systems that allowed them to run. I worked in a fresh water plant changing out 2 ton Chlorine tanks, maintaining filter beds, and repairing hi and low lift pumps to keep the 38 pounds of pressure throughout the system, I personally handled in four year well over a billion dollars worth of art never broke any of it and always got it hung right the first time, and worked on every traveling exhibition from Wyeth’s Helga to the Vatican’s exhibition which only came to Detroit. And finished up my last 7 years repairing over 1500 vehicles a year, mostly police cars. Trust me no one can fuck up a car faster than a cop. I drove truck and overhead cranes, hilos and crawled down sewer drains.they said do it we got it done.
Then in year 19 I blew my L4-L5 disc out after working for ten years with increasing sciatic pain and working a second job full time for 12 of those 19 years to make ends meet.
This is what is being done to all of us non police and firefighters employees. They got a sweetheart deal and only lose a portion of their COLA.
We already have lost all of our healthcare saving the city $4.5 Billion + up to another $4.5 billion in the trial if the judge agrees to cut our cash pensions up to 20% or more if certain municipal financial goals are not met. If they are not met the non uniform pensions will be cut to make up the difference. For example if the city goes over budget, we are the well to make up the difference.
“2. Half of the debt is unfunded retirement benefits
Being the largest American city ever to file for bankruptcy, Detroit has a whopping long-term debt of an estimated $18.2 billion ($27,000 per capita), partly as a result of the fact that it has spent $100 million more annually since 2008 than what has come into the city coffers as revenue. Of this debt, about $9.2 billion consists of unfunded retirement benefits. The situation is exacerbated by a feeble economy, a shrinking population and rapidly increasing legacy costs. Property tax revenues have declined by 20 percent since 2008, while income tax has declined by 30 percent since 2002. The composition of debt is nicely summarized in the following Huffington Post infographic”
the unfunded liability is from the government spending on shit while they weren't making their contractual obligated payments towards future pension costs, even though it was required by the state constitution. The governor needs this debt wiped out because our pension fund is at 70% funded and if he can get that 30% wiped off the books he'll have a legal precedent for wiping the states 45% underfunding erased. I never minded going first, it's the dangerous part of any job but I hate being the canary in the coal mine.
The most aggravating part for me personally is I stuck it out with this city to this very day, paid every tax and bill due on time, every time and the prose poem part is the general reaction of them who have no skin in this game or stand to profit even more from the bankruptcy. The trial expected to last a few weeks starts in 9 days and personally I believe the fix is in. My pension when you add it all together the loss of medical, having to purchase medical for my wife and the loss of cash drops from $950 a month $520. I am so fucking happy I worked for my community.