DFT Responds To Robert Bobb’s Expanded Role

Emergency financial manager Robert Bobb is now assuming
complete control of the Detroit Public Schools — leaving the school board itself without any real legal power. Bobb was granted expanded authority under a recently-passed state law.

How does that sit with the teachers’ union?

WWJ’s Citybeat Reporter Vickie Thomas reports that Bobb will be meeting with the district’s union. Bobb has already been in talks with the Detroit Federation of Teachers union.

The DFT’s Executive Vice President Mark O’Keefe told Vickie, “We have 60 days to collectively bargain, however, we already came to a contractual agreement with Robert Bobb, so I don’t know what our incentive is to come and make more concessions. And, frankly, I don’t know what the justification is for him to ask for that. He agreed to this and we think he should be held to it.”

O’Keefe says union members have nothing else to give. Vickie responded, “He may ask for more, though.”

“Uh, he may – and frankly, that may lead to some legal challenges because there are legitimate legal questions that haven’t been tested yet, since this is a new law,” O’Keefe said. “So, we’re prepared, uh, to challenge that.”

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