Call for Volunteers on Election Day [7.24.14]

The DFT is supporting the Aug. 5 millage package for the Detroit Public Schools by enlisting at least 200 of our members to work the polls on Election Day. Members will educate voters by disseminating literature and as captains monitoring polls. Please call the DFT at 313-875-3500 to be added to the list.

Aug. 5 Millage Affects Detroit Teachers [7.22.14]

The Aug. 5 millage, which will raise funds for districts in Wayne County, would raise $14.8 million for Detroit Public Schools and has been included in its budget. If the millage fails, the district will need to cut that amount from its current year budget, affecting Detroit students and staff members.

Health Care Q&A, Email to Jack Martin [7.1.14]

DFT Members:

DPS is conducting informational meetings regarding the instructional healthcare plan today, July 1, at Western International High School, and tomorrow, July 2, at Renaissance High School, and July 9 at Ronald Brown Academy. All forums begin at 4:30 p.m.

While the DFT moves forward with our challenge to this non-negotiated change to our healthcare, we encourage members to attend the forums so you can make an informed and appropriate decision on your coverage.

We also encourage you to email Emergency Manager Jack Martin at to express not only your displeasure with the healthcare options, but also how this will adversely affect quality of life conditions for you and your family.

We must send a message that not only is an agreement binding, but so too should be the commitment of the employer to the welfare of the employees and their families. We will not stand idly by as our contractual rights and the welfare of our families are treated as an afterthought.

In Solidarity,

Keith Johnson, DFT President

Cetification Renewal Requirements [6.28.14]

DFT Members: The number of SCECHs and DPPDs renewal requirements has been reduced from 180 to 150. Also, there no longer is a cap of 30 hours per school year for DPPD.

-Edna Reaves, DFT Executive Vice President

DPS Health Care and Open Enrollment [6.27.14]

Many DFT members have asked what they should do relative to the "open enrollment" and restructured health care plan implemented by DPS.

The DFT has already stated our position -- the action taken by DPS is a violation of the collective bargaining agreement, specifically as it pertains to the "benefit reopener."

Any change in the structure of the health care plan(s) is subject to negotiations when a collective bargaining agreement is in effect, as is the agreement between DFT and DPS. The DFT is taking the action necessary to effectively enforce the agreement.

In the interim, so as not to lose health care coverage, we encourage and recommend to our members to select a health care plan affordable and serviceable to you and the needs of your family.

The DFT is likely to seek a "make whole" remedy that would, at the very least, offset any additional costs incurred to receive adequate health care.

As usual we will post any additional information relative to this and all concerns affecting the DFT.

In strength through solidarity,

Keith Johnson, DFT President

Last Day for Extended Year [6.26.14]

It has come to the attention of the DFT that some Priority School principals have told staff they must report for a "record day" the day after extended year ends for students. The RECORD DAY was used as one of the makeup days/hours of instruction, therefore the LAST DAY FOR STUDENTS IS THE LAST DAY FOR TEACHERS.

Staff is not required to report after the last day for students, however, all records must get completed before leaving on the last day of school.


It has come to the attention of the DFT that some instructional specialists were told they must make up additional days. This is not accurate. The instructional specialists work year is one week longer than the regular school year, thus the STUDENT makeup days are incorporated into the additional week instructional specialists were already scheduled to work. No additional time is required regardless of the number of makeup days a school must have. Makeup time is for STUDENTS' time, not staff.


The DFT is aware of the healthcare packets received by our members for the "open enrollment" period presented by the district as well as the restructuring of the health care plan for our members. The collective bargaining agreement provided for a health care "reopener," meaning it was subject to negotiations. DPS did not bargain any restructuring with DFT, mistakenly believing the duty to bargain was "suspended" under PA 436, the Emergency Manager Law. The DFT's legal counsel is preparing to take the required steps to litigate this action by the district.

The accrual of sick days is clear and explicit in the collective bargaining agreement as well as a Letter of Agreement from 2002 in which DFT and DPS mutually agreed to abandon the accrual policy because it was too cumbersome for payroll and Human Resources to accurately maintain. The DFT again is preparing to take the necessary legal steps to compel DPS to honor the collective bargaining agreement.

We will keep the membership posted on these and other concerns as we proceed.

-Keith Johnson, DFT President