Lori Dougovito

FLINT (WJRT) — (01/05/11)–In the spirit of cooperation, Flint Mayor Dayne Walling is still banking on double-digit concessions from the city’s public safety unions.

Fresh off of 20 police officer layoffs, we asked if more could be on the way if no agreements are reached. He said his administration will make whatever decisions are necessary based on Flint’s revenues.

“What you see here from this union is real leadership,” Walling said.

There may be a tentative concession agreement with AFSCME Local 1600, the city’s largest union, but talks with public safety groups have all but ended.

“The last two meetings we had scheduled with the city they’ve canceled and they haven’t called back to reschedule anything to meet back with us again,” said the Flint Police Sergeants Union’s Rick Hetherington.

It’s not quite the “spirit of cooperation” Walling is pitching for this year, but he admits there’s not much to talk about unless a proposal reaches a 10 percent concession.

Police union leaders contend they’ve offered well past that 10 percent.

“We went in and offered 13.5 percent and he turned that down, so I don’t know what else he wants us to do,” Hetherington said.

Walling says those unions are in the arbitration process now. In November, Flint firefighters voted down a concession package. Union President Raul Garcia says another proposal is in the works.

Last month, City Council members said no to a public safety millage proposal with a 6-mill increase. Walling says he will modify that millage proposal and meet with them again.

“I understand from council members there may be more support for the 4-mill package,” Walling said.

Walling says the language could be made more specific as well so voters would know exactly where that money would be going.

Another option would be to offer individual items for voters to consider.