DETROIT — Marathon bargaining that began Sunday afternoon and stretched into Monday morning made substantial progress toward a settlement in the six-day walkout that has crippled this city's bus service and garbage collection, a union spokesman said Monday.
Both sides have compromised on the key issue in the talks--wages--and progress has been made on a number of non-economic issues, said Phil Sparks, a spokesman for District Council 25 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents the 7,000 striking city employees.
Sparks said the city is no longer sticking to its initial wage offer, which called for a 2% raise in the first year of a three-year agreement, with raises in the second and third years tied to the city's fiscal health. Although he refused to give details, he also indicated that the union is demanding less than the 26% raise over three years that it asked for initially.
City officials have refused to discuss details on their new wage offer.
Additional talks are scheduled today. Meanwhile, the city continued its efforts to obtain a court order to force the employees back to work.