Detroit ruling opens threat to NY worker pensions

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Associated Press

Posted on December 8, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Updated Sunday, Dec 8 at 5:00 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A federal bankruptcy court's decision in Detroit last week putting that city's constitutionally protected public pension on the table cracks opens the door for pension reductions in New York.

Now the pensions of public workers and, for the first time, current retirees can be threatened by local governments fighting off insolvency.

One of New York's biggest unions said the decision should send chills down the spines of all workers

The ruling means that long-distressed municipalities could choose bankruptcy as the only way to fix their biggest problem. But it also gives them leverage in negotiating other concessions to avoid bankruptcy court, where unions would have little say about the future of pensions.

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