DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts has issued an order to impose a new labor contract with the Detroit Federal of Teachers. The move is legal because the EM law — as written — gives such power to the position.

DFT president Keith Johnson calls the move an “act of tyranny” and says the union and teachers won’t take it sitting down. If nothing changes, Johnson says they won’t guarantee that school will start on time.

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“Three years ago, I made a commitment that school would start on time and without interruption, and I honored that commitment,” Johnson said. “This time, the only commitment I am making is that we will take the steps that are necessary to effectively address this act of tyranny.”

The union leadership will meet this week to consider their options.

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The district, in the meantime, issued the following statement in a press release:

Roberts said, “This new collective bargaining agreement with our teachers provides the flexibility needed for our schools to be successful and to meet the educational needs of the children and families who come to us. It also produces the savings necessary for the district to ultimately return to financial solvency and remove the debt that erodes financial resources reaching the classroom.

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“Detroit has great teachers and dedicated educators and I have met and witnessed the work of a number of them over the past 14 months,” Roberts continued. “Having this contract in place provides the stability they need and deserve to continue to meet the many challenges they face on a daily basis.”