REDFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Twenty-six teachers called in sick to Redford Union's Hilbert Middle School on Monday, forcing the district to send 900 students home, according to WWJ Newsradio 950.

Superintendent Donna Rhodes told WWJ that there is a labor dispute between the district and its teachers over pay and health care. Teachers currently are working under a contract implemented by the school board, the station reported.

"The ... unfortunate thing is that we have had, last week, some very positive negotiations with the teachers' union," Rhodes told WWJ.

Substitute teachers were sent to those elementary schools in the district that also reported higher-than-normal teacher absenteeism on Monday, according to the report.

WWJ Newsradio 950, "Teacher Absences Force School Closure," Nov. 3, 2008

Michigan Education Digest, "Redford Union schools file unfair labor charge against teachers," July 31, 2007