DETROIT (WWJ) – The Detroit Federation of Teachers Tuesday reached a tentative agreement for a new contract with the Detroit Public Schools Community District.
The agreement is for this school year and in lieu of a raise, it includes, in part, a bonus payment of 3 percent of their salary for teachers. High school teachers can earn up to $4,079 per semester or $8,158 per school year by teaching one extra class. Those who opt out of insurance will get a one time $2000 payment. Teachers with unused sick days will get $3000 and up to $11,000 upon retirement.
“This agreement recognizes and values the voice and experience of Detroit’s educators. While not perfect, this deal turns the page and provides a new pathway for the district and our union to do right by the students, families and city of Detroit,” said Ivy Bailey, DFT interim president. [TENTATIVE AGREEMENT] pdf.
“It’s better than what I’ve had,” teacher Victoria Adams told WWJ’s Stephanie Davis. “I’ve been here over 25 years.”
Marcus Walton, a special education teacher with the district says he’s voting in favor of the agreement but thinks that the final vote will be close due to cuts teachers have had to make in the past.
“Because there is so much baggage from prior years,” says special education teacher , “from the Robert Bobb administration, from principals that are being arrested and vendors that are stealing money from the students — yeah, it’s going to be a close vote.”
“Our priority has always been educating the students of this city, and this agreement makes that a little easier,” she added. “Beyond economic gains for members, this deal will restore parents’ confidence in our schools and will help ensure that our students get the high-quality public education they deserve.”
Bailey continued, “Now it is up to our members—folks who have been through quite a bit this year—to review this agreement and make the final decision. This process will get underway tomorrow at our special membership meeting, followed by a school-by-school vote later this week.”
Before taking effect, the new deal must be ratified by DFT members and the Financial Review Commission. The DFT has scheduled an special membership meeting on Tuesday, following the first day of school for Detroit students.