News Story

Detroit Teachers' Pay Frozen, But Union Officials Get Big Raises

AFT-Michigan president up to $181,996

David Hecker, president of American Federation of Teachers-Michigan union. Photo via AFT-Michigan.

The president of the American Federation of Teachers-Michigan union has enjoyed robust raises the past two years, even as membership in the union kept declining. AFT-Michigan represents employees of the Detroit school district.

Most of those employees have been under a salary freeze for the past six years, and they are also paying higher union dues.

David Hecker, president of AFT-Michigan, has seen his salary increase from $145,862 in 2014 to $155,278 in 2015 and $162,718 in 2016. The figures are from the annual reports the union is required to file with the federal government. Hecker’s total compensation increased from $161,751 in 2014 to $181,996 in 2016.

Membership in AFT-Michigan has declined from 20,889 in 2014 to 18,432 in 2016. Union dues have also increased from $17.20 a month in 2014 to $18.20 a month in 2016.

The bulk of the membership of AFT-Michigan comes from the Detroit public school district, which implemented a 10 percent reduction in salaries in 2010. It also implemented a freeze that keeps members from moving up the steps of the union pay scale.

In addition to Hecker, another state AFT official, Ivy Bailey, president of the Detroit branch, has also seen large pay hikes recently, from $70,176 in 2013-14 to $134,705 in 2015-16.

Hecker didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.