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Monday, July 25, 2011

State workers protest at Michigan's Civil Service Cadillac Building headquarters, against Gov. Snyder proposed cuts

Photo Credit-ROJS News
State workers protests on 7/25 in front of 
the Cadillac Building in Detroit, Michigan
against Gov. Rick Snyder's proposed
cuts to unionized contracts
Union leaders, state legislator representatives and about 200 employees gathered outside the Cadillac Building –former General Motors headquarters- in Detroit, Michigan, protesting $145 million dollars’ in cuts Gov. Rick Snyder (R) will demand from state workers.

State employees, who attended at the rally, believe that Gov. Snyder’s cuts are substantial and will impend to harm citizens depending on those services or departments.
“If he privatizes prison food services, the public and corrections officers that put their lives on the line every day for the public safety are at risk”, noted G. Davidson an officer for over 20 years with MDOC.
Food Services staffs are trained, as we are, to ensure that prisoners don’t take utensils such as forks, knives and other sharp objects which can be cut down and used as weapons, out of chow halls,” he noted.  
“Who will train these privatized staff? Does Gov. Snyder care as long as savings are met any way possible?” he asked.
Photo Credit ROJS News
Michigan state Senator Coleman Young II
speaks to local media about Gov. Snyder's
upcoming cuts proposed to state workers.
State Senator Coleman Young II (D-Detroit), who attended the rally, cited targets of Gov. Snyder’s cuts are working people, instead of wealthy corporations and individuals in Michigan.
“He is taking advantage of the butcher, baker, nurse and child care worker. These are the people he is punishing for corporations to receive billion dollar tax breaks, Senator Young II stated. "It’s not right."
Sen. Young II noted that if Gov. Snyder was trying to institute real ‘shared sacrifice’, he would have pushed for a graduated income tax rate to solve Michigan budgetary deficit issues.
“Here’s is an idea. Let’s stop having billionaires pay the same tax rate as janitors. Let’s go to and have a graduated income tax,” cited Sen. Young II. 
“That is equality shared sacrifice. What we have now is a drop down on the poor and meanwhile having the billionaires live it up,” he stated.
Last week, Bloomberg News reported on Gov. Snyder threats to laid-off or terminate a large number of the Michigan’s 47,000 state employees if they don’t agree to massive pay concessions in negotiations scheduled to begin this week.

Michigan employees’ unionized contracts expire at the end of the state fiscal year, which is October 1st

Photo Credit-ROJS News
Members of the Michigan Correctional
Organization union (MCO) protested
Gov. Snyders proposed cuts to food
services in prisons at the Cadillac Building
Among Gov. Snyder proposed cuts include privatizing the food services department within the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) and cuts to social workers within the states' Department of Human Services (DHS).
“With the Emergency Financial Manager law, everyone should be considered about the contracts. If they are going to open them up, change it, destroy it or what's going to happen,” Sen. Young stated. 
“Particularly after they have insulted the state constitution like that, I would wonder if they are going to insult me next,” he said.
Senator Young highlighted the 'Home Rule' clause of Michigan's ConstitutionThe state's Constitutional mandate of 'Home Rule' was wrote into the original drafted document and re-stated by the Michigan legislator in 1963

Specifically, 'Home Rule' gives local government by power of its' citizens though electoral votes, to regulate themselves, thus, a vastly different from Public Act #4, known as the Emergency Financial Manager law.

"Home Rule can be constitutional or legislative or both.  It is the power of municipalities to organize and govern themselves and to carry out a range of governmental activities to preserve the public health and safety and the general welfare."
Photo Credit-ROJS News
Attendee signed a petition to recall
Governor Rick Snyder at the noon
time rally on 7/25.
On July 22nd the Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) announced that Michigan’s unemployment rate increased for the second straight month to 10.5%.

Gov. Snyder’s cuts to DHS would include the termination of SNAP (food stamps) and Medicaid assistance for up to 12,000 women and children under the age of 18 beginning October 1st that have been on assistance programs more than 48 months.

The governor’s proposed cuts to the DHS would come at a time when state assistance programs are likely to experience an increase in families needing assistance.

Gov. Snyder’s proposed mandates, including privatization of Michigan prison food services operations, are questionable to MDOC Director Daniel Heyns.

Director Heyns told The Detroit News in an interview published July 17th that he wants to meet the state's target for food service savings of $7 million, along with other savings for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1; but noted that maintaining security is an issue in privatization of services such as feeding prisoners.
“Meals are extremely important to the stability of institutions," Heyns stated.
Prior to Heyns appointment by Gov. Snyder to the MDOC Director position, he served as the Jackson County Sheriff, whose duties included managing the county’s jail services facility management.

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