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

Last Day of School [6.12.14]

It has come to our attention that staff members at some schools have been told to report for records on the day after their last makeup day. This is not true. The last day for students is the last day for teachers as well.

-Keith Johnson, DFT President

TIP Arbitration Checks Are Here [6.11.14]

The checks from the TIP arbitration award are here at the DFT office, 7700 Second Ave., Suite 427. The arbitration award ONLY applies to DFT members who were terminated either for cause, job abandonment, or expired certification, and had their TIP reimbursement withheld from them. This DOES NOT APPLY to DFT members currently working even if they were previously terminated. Please call first (313-875-3500) to make sure you are on the list and your check is here. You MUST have a valid driver's license or state ID to pick up the check.

DPS Plan to Reach Out to Every Student [6.11.14]

The Retention, Customer Service and Appreciation Campaign:

The district is continuing its year-round student retention and customer service programs. Our members' phone calls to families of children in the classrooms last December was a very positive part of this plan and we are asked to consider doing the same before the close of this school year.

I strongly encourage all of our members to participate in the retention initiatives, in particular the request to place a personalized phone call to all of the families of the children in your classrooms, with a short message to thank them for entrusting their children to DPS for their education and encouraging families to make the summer months a time for reading books, inquisitive exploration and participation in summer school and extended school year where it is appropriate. At the secondary level, there will be support to ensure that all calls can be made.

This personal touch will make a huge difference if we can do this across the district. 

-Keith Johnson, DFT president

Detroit Teacher - June 2014

News in this issue of The Detroit Teacher:

  • Update on 3 Percent Lawsuit
  • DPS Spending Boggles the Mind
  • Pershing Teacher Needed a Union
  • 2014 DFT Building Representatives Dinner

and much more...[Download here].