Detroit teachers may be headed back to work

Following another all-night bargaining session, this time with the help of Mayor Kilpatrick, Governor Granholm and others, the Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) and the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) reached a tentative deal around 6:30 this morning according to the online edition of the Free Press.

The Freep’s article says the tentative 3-year deal would freeze the pay of Detroit teachers the first year, give them a 1% raise the second year and a 2.5% raise the third year. Teachers hired before 1992 would also have to pay 10% of their health insurance costs, something that is currently required only of teachers hired after ’92. A 2% cut in school expenses is also part of the deal and would involve all the district’s schools.

The proposed contract that set the strike in motion was a 2-year deal that called for a 5.55% reduction in wages, an increase in health insurance copays (teachers hired before 1992 would pay 10% of all costs, those hired after 1992 would pay 20%), a reduction in sick days (from 10 currently to five) and a reduction in the amount of time for layoff notices (from 60 currently to 10).

Tomorrow morning, the teachers will vote on whether to return to work on Thursday. If they vote yes, the 129,000 school children at Detroit’s 227 schools could be back to school this week. If they vote no, the 3-year deal is tabled and bargaining resumes.

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