EMU faculty: No work in DPS without union safeguards

YPSILANTI, Mich. — Faculty leaders at Eastern Michigan University say they won’t join in the newest reform plan for Detroit Public Schools if it would affect union contracts, the Detroit Free Press reported. 

EMU was named this week as part of a makeover plan that removes the worst-performing schools from Detroit Public Schools control and puts them into a newly created Education Achievement System school district, the Free Press reported. Roy Roberts, DPS emergency manager, will lead the new district, while EMU and a number of civic organizations have been tapped to provide advice and expertise.

But unions don’t like the fact that, as emergency manager, Roberts has the authority to nullify or amend union contracts in DPS and in the new district, the Free Press reported.

EMU President Susan Martin said no faculty would be assigned to any work in a school in Detroit, but union leaders were skeptical, according to the Free Press.

“We won't have our membership involved in breaking union contracts,” said Howard Bunsis, the treasurer of the EMU faculty union, according to the Free Press. He also said EMU faculty didn’t get enough information about the plan before it was announced, as did the Detroit Federation of Teachers, the Free Press reported.

Detroit Free Press, “Eastern Michigan faculty side with teachers’ unions, say they weren’t consulted,” June 22, 2011

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Bring parental choice to Detroit Public Schools,” December 17, 2009