DETROIT - Detroit teachers would take home $500 less per
month under a tentative contract agreement reached between union and district leaders
last week, and some teachers aren't buying it, according to The Detroit News.
While union leaders said the deal is the best available, The News reported that
rank-and-file members have formed a "Vote No" committee.
The $250-per-paycheck pre-tax deduction would be deposited
into a Termination Incentive Plan to help eliminate the district's $219 million
deficit, according to The News. The money would be returned, with no interest,
when the teacher leaves the district. Emergency financial manager Robert Bobb
called the arrangement an "investment" in the district, while Detroit Federation
of Teachers President Keith Johnson warned that the alternative might be
bankruptcy, drastic pay cuts, layoffs and loss of seniority, The News reported.
Teachers would not receive any pay increase for the first
two years of the contract, followed by a 1 percent base salary hike in 2011,
according to The News. Bobb said he also plans to reduce health care costs by
About 7,000 DFT members gathered at Cobo Arena to review the
contract Sunday, where many criticized the deal, according to The News. They
have two weeks to vote.
"We haven't had a raise in several years, and I can't
retire for 15 years, so what good is it for me?" sixth-grade teacher Renee
Scheffler told The News. "The state got us into this mess, so they should get
Detroit News, "Union warns:
Beware layoffs if DPS pact fails," Dec. 7, 2009
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Cuts to
the Classroom: How Will Funding Reductions Affect Michigan Students?" Nov.