Mayor Dave Bing booed, heckled at public meeting - New York News

Mayor Dave Bing booed, heckled at public meeting

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Detroit Mayor Dave Bing gets an earful from a raucous crowd Thursday night. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing gets an earful from a raucous crowd Thursday night.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

The boos rained down from a crowd packed with off-duty Detroit police officers, firefighters and other municipal union members during a town hall meeting featuring Mayor Dave Bing and members of his administration.

"Bing, where you at?" the crowd chanted from inside the Northwest Activities Center as the mayor and others took the stage at 7 p.m. Many in the audience were upset over a 10-percent pay cut and changes in health care benefits under contracts imposed by Bing.

Deputy Mayor Kirk Lewis tried to speak several times, but was forced to wait until the boos died down. "Can we have it quiet so we can here the next question?" Lewis asked the raucous crowd.

Police unions are awaiting a ruling by the Michigan Court of Appeals that would allow the extension of a temporary injunction holding the pay cuts at bay. If denied, the unions will take their case to the state Supreme Court, said Joseph Duncan, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association.

Earlier this month, Bing imposed new contracts without any negotiations with unions whose previous deals expired June 30. The contracts cut salaries by 10 percent and require employees to pay 20 percent of their medical costs. Other previously bargained perks including bonus vacation days and annual increases to retirement plans have been eliminated. Hundreds of workers also will be laid off.

Bing, who is trying to fix a budget deficit topping $200 million as well as billions of dollars in long-term structural debt, has said the contracts will save the city more than $100 million.

The meeting was the third in a series of a dozen meetings the administration must hold under the city charter.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report

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