Home Values Going Down, Police Contract at Stand-Still
Zillow.com is reporting that Sterling Heights home values have continued their downward trend, with an 8.2% reduction in value year-over-year, and a 3.8% drop vs. the previous quarter.
What this means to you is that your house is likely worth less than it was a year ago, despite the fact that we’ve technically been out of the ‘Great Recession’ for over a year. With this drop in values, the city’s tax revenues will continue to decrease, forcing the city to make even tougher choices regarding the 2012/13 budget.
In the meantime, sources tell me that the POAM contract is not being negotiated. The city’s labor attorney has advised the city to allow the matter to go to arbitration; they initially demanded a 20% wage cut across the board which was rejected by the police union.
Remember: the city’s fiscal strategy to survive the downturn is to extract large enough concessions from the labor unions to make up for the dwindling revenues. My take? If they’re refusing to negotiate and are willing to let an arbitrator decide for both parties what the terms of the contract will be, they’re ceding control to an outside party and hoping for the best. It doesn’t seem like a sound strategy to me.
Even if it works, is stonewalling the type of thing that happens to good labor relationships?