Detroit unions sue over pay cut

DETROIT — The unions representing Detroit teachers, office workers and paraprofessionals have filed suit over a 10 percent pay cut imposed by Detroit Public Schools emergency financial manager Roy Roberts, The Detroit News reported.

The suit alleges that a new law allowing Roberts and other emergency managers to modify existing union contracts is unconstitutional, according to The News. The unions have asked the court to block a pay cut that Roberts has said is necessary to address the school district’s budget deficit.

Roberts’ executive order also calls for employees to pay 20 percent of their health care costs, The News reported. The order is expected to save $81.8 million against a $327 million deficit, according to the News.

The suit alleges that the order violates a contract clause in the U.S. Constitution and a “takings” clause in the Fifth Amendment regarding taking of private property for public use, The News reported.

The case was filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit and was assigned to U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh, The News reported.


The Detroit News, “Unions sue to block ‘unprecedented DPS pay cut, challenge new EM law,” Aug. 5, 2011


Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Acts of God: Don't like the EFM law? There's an alternative: Rein in government employee unions,” April 20, 2011