Detroit teachers' union board rejects deal

The Detroit News

The Detroit Federation of Teachers’ executive board has rejected a tentative deal on a new contract with Detroit’s new school district, representatives said Monday.

“We’ve continually stated what’s best for educators is best for students,” DFT president Ivy Bailey said in a statement. “The executive board felt that the tentative agreement doesn’t move DPSCD forward and place our students first. We want to continue negotiations.”

Representatives for Detroit Public Schools Community District did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday night about the decision.

Negotiations with the union representing more than 3,000 teachers have been ongoing since March, Bailey said. The tentative deal was reached Friday, Bailey said.

The current contract is up June 30.

Reached Monday night, Ken Coleman, a union representative, declined to reveal what led to the executive board, which has about 15 members, rejecting the pact. Bailey on Sunday said she couldn’t release details of the tentative pact, but said one of the things under negotiation was the restoration of members’ 10 percent pay cut.

It’s unclear when negotiations could continue.The district and DFT had already been scheduled to meet Tuesday about the details of the tentative agreement, Coleman said.

When the last contract ended June 30, 2016, the union called for a standard three-year contract but received a one-year contract instead, Bailey said. She highlighted financial woes as one reason they didn’t receive a longer contract last year.

In June, the Michigan Legislature passed a $617-million rescue package to salvage the district hit with declining enrollment numbers, academic challenges and $467 million in operating debt. The financial package helped pay off the debt and allocated $150 million to fund the new, debt-free district.