Layoffs Begin In Flint, Public Safety Not Affect Yet 11-23-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Layoffs Begin In Flint, Public Safety Not Affect Yet 11-23-2010

The city of Flint began the process of issuing layoff notices to employees Tuesday.
Officials said notices were issued to seasonal, temporary, and casual employees of the city.
Layoff notices were issued after negotiations with the city’s unions ended without an agreement on concessions.
Flint Mayor Dayne Walling is seeking double digit concessions from the unions to help balance a projected $5 million budget deficit.
“Without concessions from our unions, we will be forced to reduce city hall personnel by 50 employees, with the majority of these reductions coming from public safety,” Walling said.
The Flint firefighters union has tentatively agreed to a 10 percent concession package. Their membership is scheduled to vote on the agreement Nov. 29th.
Walling said no layoff notices have been issued to the fire department at this time.
“We will not issue any layoff notices to the fire department until the results of the vote are known. Even then, we will not be able to reduce the number of firefighters until we apply for and receive a waiver from FEMA,” said Walling.
In May, Flint received a $6.7 million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant from FEMA, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, to bring the fire department staffing levels to 105. The grant covers salaries and benefits for 39 firefighters.
If the cuts are made without the waiver the city could lose the federal grant.
The city also has not issued any layoff notices in the Flint Police Department, but officials said notices are expected since the police unions and city were unable to reach a concession agreement.
“This is a major disappointment that our city employees have not agreed to share in the pain in this tough economy," Walling said. "We will continue to engage our unions and I am remaining hopeful that we will be able to reach an agreement with one, if not all, of our unions before any layoffs take effect.”
The planned pink slips would leave only 65 officers on the streets of Flint, not great news for a city that’s already seen 60 homicides. The record for homicides in one year is 61, that was set in 1986.
Between 10-12 firefighters and about 20 police officers are included in the layoffs.
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