Editor’s Note: DFT puts the heat on Conn

Ingrid Jacques
The Detroit News

The internal war that’s been brewing between the Detroit Federation of Teachers and its new President, Steve Conn, is on full display on the union’s website. Don’t be surprised if the union tries to recall Conn.

On Thursday, Ivy Bailey, executive vice president of the 4,000 member teachers union, posted a letter that “members have filed charges against him (Conn) alleging violations of the DFT constitution and bylaws and conduct detrimental to the union.”

Shortly thereafter, Conn posted a brief notice about a rally—no surprises there—he was holding, and called for members to stay united. “We must NOT be divided,” Conn wrote.

It’s too late for that. The past few months, Bailey has led an effort against Conn. She, and a growing number of teachers, are displeased by Conn’s leadership style at a pivotal time for Detroit Public Schools.

While Conn may get an “A+” for his protesting ability, Bailey doesn’t think he’s doing much else that is benefiting union members. Conn’s detractors think he’s harming the DFT by pursuing his own personal agenda and that of the radical protest group By Any Means Necessary.

Conn got into office by a margin of 15 votes in a runoff election. It shouldn’t be too difficult for the DFT to oust him.