AFSCME Local 345, the union that represents foodservice workers and various other support personnel at the Detroit Public Schools, will file a lawsuit challenging pay cuts and changes in the benefits program ordered by a state-appointed emergency financial manager. The manager, Roy Roberts, had been put in place thanks to a new emergency manager law passed by the state legislature to deal with rising costs for local governments.
The legislation gives emergency managers the authority to change or even nullify labor contracts. Roberts used his authority under the law, known as Public Act 4, to impose a 10-percent across-the-board pay cut, as well as an increase in health insurance contributions, on all Detroit Public School employees. Other unions have already challenged the law, which they say violates the state constitution.