DETROIT (WWJ) – A settlement has reportedly been reached in a lawsuit filed by Detroit teachers against the school district’s emergency manager.
The lawsuit claimed Emergency Manager Roy Roberts and the state violated the state constitution by unilaterally cutting the pay of teachers and other staff members by 10 percent, refusing the payout of sick days for retiring teachers and increasing the cost of health care benefits. State Treasurer Andy Dillon approved the cuts and also was named in the suit.
The school district says the settlement with the Detroit Federation of Teachers calls for a lump sum payment of 2.5 percent of employees earnings this school year. The settlement restores second semester prep-pay and step increases, plus partial payment of sick days for retiring educators.
The retirement incentive of 50 cents on the dollar of sick pay cashout is expected to open up hundreds of positions.
“There’s about a thousand that could (choose to retire) and I estimate that 600 likely will,” said Detroit Federation of Teachers President Keith Johnson.
Johnson called the settlement “collaboration at its best” and Roberts agrees.
“We reached a solution that was in the best interest of both sides but most importantly, it is the best for educating 66,902 students and recognizing the critical importance of our teachers and staff. This is a great example of diligent work by both sides to resolve a thorny issue,” Roberts said in a statement.
Eligible teachers wishing to retire must turn in their paperwork by March 19 to qualify for the incentive.
Teachers moving into the vacated positions in order to avoid layoffs will have to be certified to teach those particular subjects.