Grand Rapids mayor George Heartwell delivers State of the City address (February 5, 2011).
Updated: Sunday, 06 Feb 2011, 9:18 PM EST
Published : Saturday, 05 Feb 2011, 7:19 PM EST
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - The mayor of Grand Rapids says the city can't afford to continue paying municipal workers their current level of benefits indefinitely.
Mayor George Heartwell called the level of benefits "unsustainable" in his 2011 State of the City address Saturday.
Heartwell says even after a 4 percent cut in total compensation, benefits are 35 percent of an average city worker's compensation and that could reach 41 percent by 2015. He says pension contribution could rise by 65 percent in the same period.
Heartwell says city officials are negotiating concessions with union leaders. Grand Rapids Public Library director Marcia Warmer says she and other workers already have made concessions but she realizes more may be necessary.