May 9, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Detroitt, MI – After a two-day sickout closed Detroit public schools, teachers returned to work May 4 when state-appointed emergency manager Steven Rhodes promised in writing that they would be paid for the full year.
The school system has said that it will not be able to pay salaries over the summer unless the state provided additional funding, which means that teachers who have their checks spread out over the year would not get paid for work they did after April 28. But it “recognizes the contractual obligation to pay teachers what they have earned and we assure all teachers that we will honor that legal obligation,” Rhodes wrote in a letter to teachers May 3. “We’re happy to return to the classroom and finish the year with our kids,” Ivy Bailey, interim president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, said in a statement. The state House’s appropriations committee approved $500 million in aid on May 3—but the measure would void teachers’ current union contracts and prohibit collective bargaining over workloads or scheduling. Read more