According to new studies released by Mayor Virg Bernero, the city needs to contribute an additional $3 million to employee pension funds. The mayor is asking employees to increase their contributions and says if not, all of the money from the police and fire millage may have to go toward filling that gap.
Mayor Bernero says there's no easy answer as to when cuts in Lansing will end, unless the city starts doing things differently.
"We have to look at new ways of doing things. When we're done cutting? I'm not sure," said Mayor Bernero.
According to the mayor, a big part of that begins with decreasing legacy costs relating to employees' retirement costs.
"The economy is changing so fundamentally and these legacy costs that have been building for decades are catching up with us."
While the mayor and city council typically have trouble agreeing, Council President Brian Jeffries is letting the mayor have this one.
"I think we're at that day in time when we really have to sit down and look at pensions and health care costs and ask employees to do more," Jeffries said.
However, the employees' union believes its members have taken enough concessions and argues having no guarantee of an end to cuts is unacceptable.
"The mental state of the employees due to all this is getting worse on a daily basis," said Stan Shuck from UAW Local 2256.
While Council President Jeffries agrees it's time for employees to contribute more, he says too many concessions can mean trouble.
"They've given up more in everything else over the years to meet these needs and then we continue to give them those furlough days which in effect is a pay cut, that's very demoralizing and I think that will have an impact on who we can attract to work here in the city."