Detroit teachers union brushes off sick-out plans

DFT leaders say vocal minority does not represent union as whole

DETROIT – The Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) union held a news conference Monday to update the latest on its work to find solutions to issues facing the Detroit Public Schools district. 

There has been a clear split among Detroit but teachers, but on Monday the DFT made it clear ousted DFT president Steve Conn and his group do not speak for the majority of Detroit teachers. 

Governor Rick Snyder's plan includes $715 million to cover DPS debt and support needed improvements in the district. The teachers believe that's a good start.

"The legislation is not gonna be the end-all. There's still work to be done moving forward," said Terrence Martin, DFT executive vice president. 

That includes the crucial element in the governor's plan: expanding the power of the Financial Review Commission. The teachers union wants control of Detroit schools back in Detroit. The union is lobbying the legislature in part with a video sharing a message directly from the people in the classrooms. 

As for the more splintered, militant group within the union:

"The folks in this union are passionate about what they do," said Martin. "We just have to help to hone that passion all in the same direction."

Related: Despite threat of sick-outs, Detroit schools are open






About the Authors: