Saginaw police, fire union concessions to go toward preserving jobs

Days after the Saginaw City Council approved a budget that makes the layoffs of dozens of police and firefighters official, members passed what Mayor Greg Branch calls â??simply a resolution of supportâ?? to direct any cost-savings from union concessions to preserve jobs.

City Manager Darnell Earley's budget eliminates 36 police officers and 15 firefighters. On Monday council members passed a resolution with a 4-3 vote to ensure any cost-saving agreements with the unions go directly toward the police and fire departments.

Councilman Floyd Kloc proposed the amendment last week and said it's a way to maximize public safety staffing.

â??We support the unionsâ?? efforts if they come forward with efforts that are budget-neutral to save union positions or really save police and fire positions that we support that as a policy for the council,â?? Kloc said.

The amendment states any agreements made by June 28 that result in savings will go back to the police and fire departments.

Mayor Pro-Tem Dennis Browning and two council members voted against the resolution, arguing the amendment would only give false hope that jobs can be saved.