“It was an important statement. It saved people a lot of time and gave them a better sense of how they need to frame their discussions as they go into mediation,” Sweet said.
Indeed, mediation between all parties in Detroit’s bankruptcy has been going on for weeks in private in the courthouse. Sharon Levine, an attorney for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said she filed an appeal notice immediately after Rhodes made his decision Tuesday and then stepped into another negotiating session.
“We absolutely believe a negotiated resolution is the best resolution,” Levine said. “But it seems to us the retirees are being kicked to the curb. We’re not in a position to give up a litigation route.
“If I’m living on $19,000 a year, I don’t know if I’m going to have to live on nine, 12 or some other number. These people are scared,” she said. “They don’t even know what their worst day is.”