(Reuters) - A Michigan judge on Thursday upheld Detroit's move to impose a pay cut and other measures on its police force, a lawyer for the police union said.
Donato Iorio, attorney for the Detroit Police Officers Association, said Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Macdonald's denial of a permanent injunction against the city will be appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals.
On August 16 another Wayne County Court judge issued a temporary restraining order against the 10 percent wage cut and work rule changes that included 12-hour shifts for police imposed by Mayor Dave Bing as part of his plan to save $102 million for the cash-strapped city.
The union is contesting Detroit's reliance on a currently suspended emergency manager law to wring changes from its workers. A financial stability agreement between the city and Michigan in April is based in part on the 2011 law, which enabled state-appointed emergency managers to temporarily suspend collective bargaining pacts.
While the agreement gave Detroit some state oversight, but not an emergency manager, it allowed Bing to disregard collective bargaining with the city's 48 unions and impose 10 percent pay cuts, work-rule and benefit changes, and other measures on workers last month.
The law known as Public Act 4 was suspended earlier this month pending the outcome of a November 6 ballot measure seeking its repeal.
Bing welcomed Macdonald's ruling in the case.
"My administration will move forward in implementing the city employment terms for all city of Detroit workers as we continue to work to fiscally stabilize the city," the mayor said in a statement.
Iorio said the mayor's plan was causing police officers to leave Detroit "by the truckload," adding the high-crime city has 1,000 fewer officers than 10 years ago.
A shrinking population and declining revenue have left Detroit with a $260 million cumulative budget deficit and a huge $7.9 billion long-term debt burden that includes bonds, employee pensions and retiree healthcare liabilities.
(Reporting By Karen Pierog; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)
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