City of Hamtramck reaches deal with Police and Fire - New York News

City of Hamtramck reaches deal with Police and Fire, hiring new personnel

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Hamtramck's emergency manager, Cathy Square, says the most important thing to residents in her area was to keep police and fire in their neighborhood, and after lengthy negotiations the people of Hamtramck will seem to get exactly what they wanted

"The people in the community wanted to maintain the police and fire department. When I came, they were afraid the departments would be outsourced or merged with other departments,"
says Square.

Square announced Tuesday the city has reached a two-year deal with ranking police, fire and AFSCME union officials.

"They increased their pension contribution; they changed their healthcare; they lost some sick time benefits; pay cut; but everybody is still working. Nobody got laid off," says Paul Wilk, the Hamtramck Fire Chief.  

"The healthcare changes are similar to what they had, we're just changing from a Blue Cross product that was a PPO product to a Blue Cross HMO product, which was a huge savings," explains Square.  

An audit of city finances revealed a deficit of more than 582 thousand dollars. The city has seen a decline in revenue collected from property taxes and the GM Poletown facility.
Most city workers, including the mayor and City Council, lost 10 percent of their salaries. Street lighting and utility costs will be reduced. A new shared 911dispatch will move in to the police department. As a result, Hamtramck police and fire will each make two hires to fill vacant positions.

"The union worked hard to make sure they stay here, and they gave up a big piece of their livelihood," says Wilk.

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