Lawsuit Challenges DPS Employee Pay Cut

DETROIT (WWJ) – A lawsuit aims to stop the Detroit Public Schools from imposing a 10 percent pay cut on employees. The suit which names DPS Emergency Financial Manager Roy Roberts as well and State Treasurer Andy Dillon, was filed Thursday.

Even though a new state law has expanded the powers of emergency managers to impose changes, including employee contracts, the three unions representing teachers clerical workers and others, are prepared to fight.

“We’re challenging the applicability of the law as it’s been imposed,” said Detroit Federation of Teachers President Keith Johnson.

“We’re filing suit in federal court because we believe that there are some constitutional statute issues,” he said.

Johnson says the union’s lawyer will ask  a federal judge to stop the pay cuts as soon as possible.

WWJ’s Stephanie Davis spoke with Donna Jackson who represents paraprofessionals including teachers assistants and noon-hour aids. “We are part of the lowest paid throughout the DPS, and we too have been imposed with the 10 percent cut.”

Jackson said some of her 900-plus members are right around minimum wage,  making about $7-per-hour.

  • Sally

    At last people with the guts to fight. When the US Taxpayers bailed out the banks and then the banks gave huge bonuses to management, the taxpayers were told that those people had a “contract” and the “contract” had to be honored. I believe the DPS employees have a “contract”. Why are the contracts of wealthy people being honored with taxpayer money and not the contracts of lower income persons? Republicans-the bank bailout was done under Bush II what do you have to say now about negating the contracts of the little guy? I did not agree with the big bonuses given using taxpayer dollers but I totally support a negotiated union contract with an entire class of people.

  • Rebel

    I agree with Sally on the fact that the banks got bailed out; unfortunately, two wrongs don’t make a right. Detroit is in deep trouble and Roy Roberts has to stand up to the Unions on this issue. Even if he gets overriden – where is the money going to come from? Oh I forgot!- let’s just tax the rich! Why is that everyone’s solution? What are you going to do when all the rich are out of money? It is time to get our act together. I support the emergency manager on this issue.

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