DPS teachers plan 2nd sickout Tuesday

The Detroit News

Detroit Federation of Teachers members are planning to extend a sickout in Detroit Public Schools for a second consecutive day Tuesday.

“Detroit Federation of Teachers leaders spent the day meeting with DPS Transition Manager Judge Steven Rhodes and other decision makers to get an assurance that our members will be paid for their work,” officials said in a statement Monday night. “Still, they refuse to say the three words our members need to hear: ‘I guarantee it.’

“Their failure to give us that guarantee is tantamount to a lock-out. ... We do not work for free and therefore we do not expect you to report to school tomorrow. Let’s continue to stand strong together to win this fight for great schools where students get the education they need, and where educators are supported and respected.”

A rally is set for 10 a.m. at the Fisher Building; a membership meeting is planned for 4:30 at Fellowship Chapel at 7700 W. Outer Drive in Detroit, the statement said.

DPS representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday night.

The teachers union had sought another day of sickouts Tuesday over possible payless paydays for some employees this summer.

A union-sponsored protest Monday closed 94 of the district’s 97 schools.

With most schools closed by the sickout Monday, Emergency Manager Steven Rhodes urged state lawmakers to “promptly” pass a $715 million package to rescue the debt-ridden district.

But top legislative leaders, angered by the sickout, blasted teachers and warned the mass walkout would make it harder to win approval for a bailout of the state’s largest school district.