By April Morton

(CBS Detroit ) – After weeks of negotiations, the Detroit Federation of Teachers union and the district have come to an agreement on a return to school plan.

The plan includes smaller class sizes and hazard pay for staff, but not all teachers agree with in-person instruction.

The Detroit Public Schools Community District and the Detroit Federation of Teachers union, released this four-page agreement today. The letter details the return to school agreement between the groups, which includes online as well as in-person instruction.

Benjamin Royal, Detroit Public School Teacher and Detroit Federation of Teachers member says, “I think any agreement that allows any school to reopen should be rescinded immediately.”

Royal says, “There is nothing in this agreement that changes to fact that this is a deadly pandemic. These are not risks that we should be taking with the children in the city, it’s not a risk we should be taking with the staff of the district.”

The law that expires in June of 2021 gives teachers the option of online and in-person instruction. All in-person teachers will be provided with PPE, as well as receive hazard pay of $750.00 each marking period. Classrooms and other seating areas will provide 6 feet of distance with no more than 20 students per class. And masks are required for students and staff.

In a statement superintendent, Nikolai Vitti says in part, “It is our hope that through this agreement we can now collectively own the reopening of our schools to best serve our children and families while ensuring the safety of our employees.”

Royal is also an organizer with BAMN, a group that’s been protesting in-person classes says, says he’s not giving up.

He says, “We can fight with this, but it starts with refusing to reopen until there’s actually a plan in place to contain it.”

CBS Detroit reached out to DFT President, but have not heard back yet.

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April Morton

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