DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The Detroit Public Schools district says it has reached an agreement in principle with its unions on a bonus program for employees tied to the district’s financial performance.

The district’s emergency manager Roy Roberts on Friday announced the agreement, which covers the district’s 2011-12 and 2012-13 fiscal years. Roberts says the program will provide for a bonus to employees if the district’s general fund financial performance meets pre-determined targets.

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The program calls for a 1 percent bonus for each $5 million of general fund operating surplus at the end of the fiscal years. The maximum is 5 percent.

Roberts predicts there will be a budget surplus of about $11.9 million for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

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“When I came on board 15 months ago, this District had a deficit of $372 million. In just over a year, we’ve been able to reduce that deficit to approximately $75 million,” said Roberts, in a media release. “I know this progress has been made possible because everyone involved was willing to make major sacrifices to help our kids. I also know I told everyone that while sacrifices would be required, rewards would be possible if we could begin to achieve our goals. This bonus program is proof that we are making definite progress and are moving in the right direction—both financially and collaboratively.”

“Working together, with the primary focus of providing the best education system possible for the children of this District, I am hopeful that we can achieve results at the end of the current fiscal year that will result in similar rewards for all eligible DPS employees in 2013,” said Roberts.

Earlier this year, Roberts angered unions by imposing a contract on the district’s teachers.

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