Detroit teachers ratify contract with district, promising up to 4% salary bump, $15K bonuses for some

Detroit teachers have ratified a two-year contract negotiated between the union and district that assures a 4% increase for top step teachers and bonuses for special educators.

Hazard pay for working during the pandemic was also guaranteed along with a safe reopening plan agreement for staff ahead of the new school year.

The district's superintendent touted the agreement after securing the fourth contract approval in four years - something Dr. Nikolai Vitti says improves upon the teacher shortage issues that have plagued Detroit in recent years.

"Each contract agreement narrows the salary gap between our teachers and others throughout the state and area. It also signals that our reform work is headed in the right direction, especially when it comes to recruiting and retaining teachers," Vitti said.

Top Step teachers will get a 4% wage increase for the next two school years, while teachers and ancillary staff will advance one step each year. Their salary schedule includes:

  • New Teachers hired with a salary of $51,000 will receive a 3% increase each year
  • Federation teachers that work hourly will get a 4% increase each year
  • Retirees from special education, K-8 self-contained teachers, secondary math, secondary science, and psychologists will be moved up to top step. All other retirees will get a salary of $51,000

All teachers will also get a $2,000 holiday bonus once a year while day-to-day substitutes will get a $1,000 bonus.

Staff from the Exceptional Student Education will get a $15,000 bonus while staff that have worked at the district for more than 20 years will get a $3,000 longevity bonus.

Hazard pay will go to all employees, while an additional $2,000 will be available if a teacher must teach online due to quarantining students. 

"When we started as a board in 2017, we knew that our teachers’ salaries needed to increase," said Angelique Peterson-Mayberry, DPSCD Board of Education President. "Now, entering our fourth agreement, this has been a demonstrative commitment to working with our union leaders, and we remain committed to our relentless journey to ensure that our teachers are the highest paid in the state one day."

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The agreement will be for the next two school years.

Vitti also said the district has hired 100 more teachers to buffer it from retirements, while also decreasing the student-to-teacher ratio. 

Classes begin Sept. 7, the day after Labor Day.