Strike heads to court

WESTLAND, Mich. - Wayne-Westland Community Schools officials were expected to ask a judge Thursday to require striking teachers to return to work, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The district has been forced to cancel classes four consecutive days, according to the Free Press. Teacher strikes are illegal under Michigan law.

Both sides also were to attend an emergency meeting of the Michigan Employment Relations Commission on Wednesday as well as resume negotiations with a state mediator present, the article said.

The board of education had voted during a meeting Tuesday to discipline striking teachers but did not give details. The Michigan Education Association school employees union could pay any fines on behalf of the teachers, the Free Press reported.

The district is scheduled to administer the annual Michigan Educational Assessment Program tests next week. If teachers continue the strike beyond those dates as well as the make-up dates, the Michigan Department of Education would work with the district on another date, a department spokeswoman told the Free Press.

The Detroit Free Press, "Wayne-Westland teachers strike expected to move to court," Oct. 8, 2008

Michigan Education Digest, "Grand Rapids contract still unresolved," Sept. 23, 2008