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Detroit Teachers Union Calls On City Council For Help

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Teachers protest contract changes on July 19 in Detroit. (WWJ Photo/Sandra McNeil)

Teachers protest contract changes on July 19 in Detroit. (WWJ Photo/Sandra McNeil)

DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit Federation of Teachers President Keith Johnson is asking the Detroit City Council for help in convincing the school district’s state-appointed emergency manager to negotiate with the union on a new contract.

“To encourage the emergency manager to sit down with the DFT and to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement that is respectful of the practitioners of the craft but, equally important, provided the optimum opportunity for students to learn,” said Johnson.

DPS Emergency Manager Roy Roberts imposed new work rules and a 10 percent pay cut on teachers, but Johnson is refusing to accept that contract.

“Since he’s got a union that is predicated on finding resolution to a problem, give us the opportunity to sit down at the table,” said Johnson. “Let’s negotiate an agreement that we can all be proud of and work with and move forward.”

Roberts, who was sent from Lansing to fix the district’s financial mess, doesn’t have to bargain under the state’s new emergency manager law.

District officials say that, even with the new contract in place, they’re still facing a $73 million deficit.

Teachers from across the country are expected to join DPS teachers for a march on Friday.

MORE: Hundreds Protest Detroit Teachers’ Contract

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