DETROIT – Details of the tentative agreement between the Detroit Federation of Teachers and the newly created Detroit Public Schools Community District were released Tuesday evening.
According to the Detroit Federation of Teachers, the tentative agreement tackles issues such as salary and compensation, health care, class size, work schedules, prep time, student discipline and holds the district accountable to things that support teachers in the classroom.
The tentative agreement is in effect through December 2016 and thereafter through June 2017. Detroit Federation of Teachers leaders said they will return to the bargaining table in spring 2017 to negotiate a contract for 2017-18 and beyond.
Negotiations on health benefits and insurance coverage will continue and should be agreed upon by the week of Sept. 26.
The year’s school schedule maintains a two-week break at Christmas, adds the Wednesday before Thanksgiving as a break day, continues a spring break with Good Friday and links winter break to a four-day weekend.
The agreement restores official class-size limits and reinstates multiple provisions addressing student discipline and teachers’ authority in their classrooms.
The district also will be required to make a reasonable effort to assign each teacher to just one classroom.
Teachers used mass sick-outs to bring DPS into the national spotlight as teachers said their complaints of poor teaching conditions fell on deaf and corrupt ears. The agreement establishes a joint Health and Safety Committee between the district and the DFT to assess and address the quality of school environments.
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It also states that the district will comply with federal and state laws and regulations governing the cleanup and removal of hazardous materials from schools and other worksites.
The new agreement also adds a fourth prep period for elementary school teachers and maintains prep time for middle and high school teachers, eliminates the requirement that teachers report for work at least 15 minutes before the start of the school day and decreases the number of formal parent-teacher conferences from four to two per year.