The president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers has instructed teachers to stop writing lesson plans, grading students and attending parent-teacher conferences. The advice from the union leader, on Tuesday, comes as a result of a contract dispute between substitute teachers and the Detroit school district.
Detroit Public Schools spokesman Steve Wasko says the directive is outrageous. “The instructions to the substitute teachers amount to instructions that say just go into the classroom everyday and get paid to babysit, not to do any instructional work whatsoever,” says Wasko.
But DFT president Keith Johnson tells WWJ there’s a good reason why he’s instructed his subs to do less work. He said the district has refused to pay subs a higher rate for taking on extra responsibilities not included in the collective bargaining agreement. “They’re being treated as though they are second-class employees. They’re being paid at the bottom of the substitute pay scale, so therefore they should not honor the commitment of providing the service of a regular classroom teacher,” says Johnson. District emergency financial manager Robert Bobb admonished Johnson and the union.
A first-year certified DPS teacher earns $39,000 annually plus benefits. Substitutes make $115 per day with no benefits. The union requested subs earn $28,000 plus benefits.
(Copyright, 2010. WWJ Newsradio 950, All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)