Detroit teachers union says deal in place, teachers back in class

DFT says DPS manager signed new contract guranteeing summer paychecks

LANSING, Mich. – Detroit teachers who closed city schools for two days by calling out sick returned to the classroom Wednesday after being assured by the district's manager that they would continue to be paid.

The Detroit Federation of Teachers union said Tuesday night that Detroit Public Schools Transition Manager Steven Rhodes gave them a signed contract guaranteeing them pay through the summer. 

DFT Interim President Ivy Bailey received the letter with the assurance from Rhodes. 

"We’ve been working 24/7 to secure the assurance that educators will be fully paid for the school year, so they can go back to the classroom and do what they love to do -- teach their students. It is a fundamental right to be paid for the work one does. Anything other than that is dead wrong and tantamount to wage theft,” said American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.

The district's deal with teachers is only a temporary victory. State leaders still need to come up with a solution to ensure the teachers get paid in the summer. Right now, teachers are trusting Rhodes will get the state lawmakers to push through a funding package. 

Lansing lawmakers debated Tuesday

The Michigan House Appropriations Committee adjourned Tuesday afternoon after approving a funding package for the Detroit Public Schools district. 

The committee was considering a $515 million restructuring plan as DPS students missed class for a second straight day after teachers called out sick over fears they will not be paid this summer. 

The package now will be sent to the Michigan House floor. 

DPS teachers are protesting after the district announced it cannot pay them beyond June 30. Lansing lawmakers are faced with a decision to make about the troubled district's future. Committee Chair Rep. Al Pscholka (R-Stevensville) spoke out against the teacher sick-out. He said they need to get back to work. 

"The real message today is teachers, you're going to get paid ... you are going to get paid. Get back to work," he said. 

Read more: Detroit teachers' sick-out draws criticism from Lansing, district manager

Detroit Federation of Teachers interim president Ivy Bailey led teachers in protest Tuesday in Detroit. 

"We're just asking to get paid for the work that we've done. If we continue to work, we want to be paid," Bailey said. “If I’m trusting you with my money in the hopes that, it shouldn’t even be hopes, a guarantee, that I’m going to get checks in the summer, that money should be there. You shouldn’t be using it for something else.”



The Detroit teacher sick-outs is the topic of conversation today in Lansing.

Posted by Local 4 Rod Meloni on Tuesday, May 3, 2016