DETROIT (FOX 2) - Detroit teachers could get pay raise under tentative deal
The Detroit Federation of Teachers union and the Detroit school district may have reached a deal to boost the pay of some teachers.
"We were making less than we were 10 years ago and this brings us a little bit beyond that," said Terrance Martin with the Detroit Federation of Teachers.
Mitzi Davis, a DPSCD teacher at Thrikell Elementary, and other members at the top of the salary scale will see a 4-percent increase, taking them from $65,265 to $73,000, not including one-time bonuses. The agreement also includes additional compensation and bonuses for other union members as well.
It also rectified the approval a 2019-20 school year that added work days without increasing pay.
"For next year the calendar will remain the similar to what it is this year," Martin said.
In a statement, DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vittii told Fox 2: "We are fighting every day to make our teachers the highest paid in America and strategically stretching our limited and inequitable resources to make that happen in a way that is financially responsible so our district."
For Davis, the extra money not only benefits her wallet, but it also helps her to continue to provide for her students who tell Davis what they need by writing it on a piece of paper and putting it in a box.
"Materials for school, socks, gloves, hats. They put it into this box and then I go into my own bank account and I buy it for my students," she said.
And as union leaders move forward they say there are other issues they want to see movement on.
"We really have to take a hard look at the way our schools are funded and that fight is in Lansing," Martin said.
Statement from DPSCD Board Chair Iris Taylor:
"The School Board has maintained its commitment to increasing teacher salaries while maintaining a budget that is not only balanced but sustainable. We want to thank the administration and union leadership for their hard work in reaching this agreement. This sets the stage for a strong summer of recruiting teachers and families for our third year of reform."
Statement from DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti:
"Rebuilding the district is more than rhetoric but making actionable and real changes to benefit children. One of the most important ways to do that is to ensure teachers are paid competitively for the hard work they do to inspire, mold, and educate our youth. We are fighting every day to make our teachers the highest paid in America and strategically stretching our limited and inequitable resources to make that happen in a way that is fiscally responsible so our district never faces the financial disasters of the past. Although we have a lot of work to still do to make our vision for teacher pay a reality, I am proud that we are building a legacy of increasing teacher pay in Detroit. It cannot be ignored that with this agreement we have increased our most veteran teachers' pay from $65,265 to $73,000 (not including one-time bonuses) and made them whole since the cuts implemented during emergency management. We have done this with a balanced budget and solid reserves. Several people doubted that this could happen again in DPSCD. We did it and will only continue to focus on improving teacher pay into the future. I will repeat that our work will hit a ceiling without revenue increases and a clear commitment by state lawmakers to ensure an equitable distribution of resources for all students in Michigan, regardless of zip code. However, in the meantime, we will continue to advocate for that change and maximize our resources to increase teacher salaries. Without question, DPSCD is the school district where reformers, including teaches and leaders, are going to in order to experience what school improvement looks like. We see that with our continuing increases in teacher and leadership recruitment. This will only continue as we rebuild and strengthen the district. I want to thank Terrance Martin for his leadership and as a continuing partner in the work of improving outcomes for our children. Here, we believe that management and unions can work together to rebuild traditional public education. We are showing everyone that this can happen despite natural challenges and issues that need to be addressed."