The City of Detroit, working through federal bankruptcy mediators, has reached an agreement on pension and healthcare benefits with an association representing retired Detroit police and fire fighters – the first agreement with a major group of city retirees.
The Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association (RDPFFA), one of Detroit's oldest and largest employee associations, reached an agreement with the city regarding the Bankruptcy Plan of Adjustment earlier today. The association has about 6,500 members or more than 80 percent of Detroit's retired police officers and fire fighters. The association intends to recommend that its members approve the plan with the agreed upon provisions which preserve pensions and some cost-of-living allowances for retirees.
"This agreement comes after some very long, difficult but collaborative negotiating sessions with all parties involved," said Brian O'Keefe, managing partner for Lippitt O'Keefe Gornbein PLLC, counsel for the RDPFFA. "This settlement is fair and equitable for both the city and the proud members of RDPFFA."
Lippitt O'Keefe Gornbein PLLC also represents the Detroit Retired City Employees Association (DRCEA). There are approximately 12,100 City of Detroit non-uniform retirees -- 65 percent of whom are dues-paying members of the DRCEA.
O'Keefe said that discussions between bankruptcy mediators, the City of Detroit and the DRCEA will continue to take place.
"We are continuing to work on behalf of the DRCEA's membership to preserve their pension and health care benefits," continued O'Keefe. "We are optimistic that it will be possible to achieve an equitable outcome."
Retired police and fire fighters are expected to vote on the plan starting in early May.
"There is no doubt some will criticize this agreement," said Don Taylor, president of the RDPFFA. "We believe this provides the best protection of our benefits that we could obtain under the circumstances."