Jul 20, 2015
Wayne County Executive Warren Evans is asking the State of Michigan to declare a financial emergency in the county, which includes Detroit. Even before Evans made his request, he reached a settlement with the union representing county employees for 20 million dollars in cuts to retiree health care.
He then got approval from the County Commission to eliminate the so-called “13th check” county retirees receive as part of their pensions. The bosses’ media commonly refer to the “13th check” as if it is some kind of outrageously extravagant benefit to retirees, but it is simply a supplement that the unions had negotiated in place of a cost-of-living adjustment. This supplement was taken from surpluses to pension fund payments, which in some years might have amounted to a few thousand dollars, but in more recent years often came to less than $100. Many county retirees receive pensions of less than $100 per month.
County workers have already taken big cuts, including a 20 per cent wage cut while receiving no raises in six years.
Evans is carrying out one more attack on public workers in the Detroit area, making workers the scapegoat for the county’s budget deficit. Evans neglects to mention huge corporate tax breaks handed out by the county or the decrease in property tax revenues due to home foreclosure resulting from the 2008 mortgage crisis created by the big banks and financial institutions.
Evans is simply carrying out his job as a hired gun for the wealthy, the banks and the big corporations – just like all the professional politicians!