Hundreds of Detroit school teachers stage a 'sickout' over pay, shutting nearly all of the city's public schools, which serve some 46,000 students. Mana Rabiee reports.

“Detroit’s public school teachers deserved to know they are going to be paid fully for their work. Now they have that assurance. I appreciate the hard work and dedication displayed by Detroit Federation of Teachers leadership, Judge Rhodes, and the Governor to resolve this issue so our children can return to class tomorrow morning.”

Detroit Federation of Teachers interim President Ivy Bailey called for teacher sick-outs on Sunday afternoon because the district does not have enough money to pay teachers after June 30.

DFT president Ivy Bailey on Monday described the situation not as a sickout, but a lockout, as the possibility of payless paydays looms over the district. DPS Transition Manager Steven Rhodes has said DPS won’t be able to pay teachers or fund summer programs after June 30.

Bailey said Monday that teachers had no choice but to conduct the sickout: “Nobody should be asked to work and not get paid,” she said. “We consider this a lockout.

A total of 94 schools were shut down Monday as teachers protested the news. The district has about 46,000 students in 97 schools.

There are about 2,600 teachers in the district.

“This is the final straw…No person should be asked to work without pay,” Bailey said.

This affects teachers who decided to have their paycheck spread out over a 52-week span and continue to receive paychecks over the summer.

From the Detroit Free Press:

DPS emergency manager Judge Steven Rhodes told the union Saturday that unless the state Legislature approves sending more money to the district, there is not enough in the coffers to pay teachers their already-earned salaries after June 30. Summer school and extended special education services would also be canceled.

[…]

Teachers said they had been told that the $48.7 million allocated by the Legislature last month to fund the district through June 30 would cover summer pay for the approximately two-thirds of district teachers who signed up for a plan that allows for paychecks year-round instead of just during the school year. Rhodes denied that earlier today.

DPS, which has been under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager since 2009, has an operating deficit of $515 million. A $715-million education reform package to help keep the district afloat is currently being debated in the Michigan House of Representatives. The state Senate approved the package in March.

You can find a complete list of schools, here.

 

Also On The Michigan Chronicle:
comments – Add Yours