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WHAT'S NEW: Tentative Agreement Is Ratified

PDF of Vote Results YES 1121  NO 406

We have concluded the ratification vote of the tentative agreement.

YES: 1121

NO: 406

The negotiating team of President Lakia Wilson-Lumpkins, Executive Vice President Jason Posey, Labor Affairs Administrator, Karin Whittler, Retirement Counselor/Financial Analyst, Patrick Falcusan and Atttorney, Marshall Widick sincerely appreciate the vote of confidence that has been given by our members in ratifying this agreement.  

WHAT'S NEW: Tentative Agreement Has Been Reached

We Have a Tentaive Agreement, Members Will Receive Email About special Informational meeting

The Detroit Public Schools Community District and the Detroit Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 231, are pleased to announce that they have entered into a tentative agreement for a successor collective bargaining agreement for the 2023-24 school year.  The DFT Executive Board went into special session this evening and unanimously agreed to present the tentative agreement to the membership for a ratification vote. All DFT bargaining unit members are expected to report to work, tomorrow, August 21, 2023 at the start of your work day.

According to the Constitution and By-laws of the union, only members who are in good standing may cast a ballot on the tentative agreement.

Photo of AFT President Randi Weingarten addressing TEACH 2023

The AFT has always been a solutions-driven union, and our new campaign, launched during TEACH on July 21, proves it once again with a fresh, practical approach to strengthening public education. As AFT President Randi Weingarten pointed out during her keynote speech, the $5 million, yearlong campaign, “Real Solutions for Kids and Communities,” stands up against attacks on public schools and offers real-world solutions to build up, rather than break down, our communities.


WHAT'S NEW: Rally Not Sanctioned by DFT

The Detroit Federation of Teachers has NOT organized a rally at the Fisher Building today. Due to extreme temperatures, Central Office has limited employees. Rallying outside of the Fisher Building will be demonstrative of a photo op. 

In the past 5 years, we have moved hourly employees to salary, restored longevity, reoccurring retention bonuses-including our retirees and long-term substitutes, MA step 15 has increased over 20%, and most recently repealed prohibited subjects by lobbying in Lansing and more! We have and will continue to push forward for competitive compensation for all. 

If members are concerned and want to move negotiations forward, you should email all of the district's elected school board members your concerns for this ongoing round of negotiations. 

WHAT'S NEW: Layoffs Rescinded for Attendance Agents

The district’s proposed layoffs for our Attendance Agents have been rescinded. Formal notification will be forthcoming from DPSCD. We will continue our negotiations with the District regarding the issues related to this concern and will provide it to you as it becomes available. This is a victory we are celebrating with you.

WHAT'S NEW: A Tribute to David Hecker

Headshot of AFT Michigan President, David Hecker

The members of the DFT wish a happy retirement to David Hecker, as he steps down from serving as President of AFT Michigan. He has held this position since 2001 and has worked with this local closely for the past 22 years.   

Throughout his tenure, David has exemplified the true meaning of leadership. His vision, wisdom, and ability has assisted the DFT over the years through the numerous challenges our members have faced from the district and the state. David's exceptional ability to navigate complex circumstances and find innovative solutions has been nothing short of remarkable.  He has been an integral piece to every political fight in Michigan that educators are engaged in, especially fights directly targeting Detroit!

As we reflect on David's journey, it is impossible not to acknowledge his passion for education and advocacy. His unwavering commitment to social justice and equity has been an inspiration to all, reminding us of the power of education to create positive change in our society. 

Retiring AFT Michigan President, David Hecker, receives a plaque from DFT President, Lakia Wilson-Lumpkins.

Current DFT president, Lakia Wilson-Lumpkins has this to say about David Hecker: "We thank David for his leadership and support and how much it means to be a part of the AFT Michigan team. He has always pointed us in the right direction, especially helping me out as a newbie president of this local. He is a voice of reason and encouragement. I sincerely appreciate you being open to the needs of this local: space to hold a meeting, navigating technology and having our backs every time we faced adversity. The DFT recognizes the unwavering support and unrelenting guidance he provided that helps in leading this Union’s path to success.” 

Keith Johnson

Keith R. Johnson, DFT President Emeritus, had these kind words to share: "I had the honor and pleasure of working with AFT Michigan President David Hecker for nearly 20 years during my time as DFT Labor Relations Administrator, DFT Director of Operations, and as DFT President. 

During that time and beyond, David has consistently demonstrated the qualities you look for in a labor leader; passion for the labor movement, passion for Union members, passion for civil and human rights, passion for women's rights, passion for the working class, passion for the underserved and disrespected, passion for the quality of education for children from pre-k through post graduate education, and passion for his and all Unions.

If looking for a word to describe David, it would be PASSION!  

David was a tremendous asset to me and the DFT as we dealt with the most challenging times for Detroit Public Schools.  I could ALWAYS count on David to be wherever and whenever I needed him. David was dependable for his assistance, his knowledge, and support. 

I also had the pleasure of sharing a seat with him on the AFT Executive Council, where he brought that same passion for our causes on a national scale.  David could always be depended upon to offer his support to other locals, other members, and the causes we fought for. David's deep and abiding respect for the challenges we face as educators and support staff was unwavering, and he will leave a lasting legacy of what good leadership looks like. 

I thank and commend AFT Michigan President, AFT National Vice-President for his service, his dedication, and his friendship."

Ivy Bailey

Former President, Ivy Baileyshared  these memories of working with David Hecker: "David Hecker is the consummate organizer--extremely skilled and accomplished-- of the highest degree, complete in every detail. Let me give an example of  being “organized by David in some way. 

If there is legislation that needs to be passed. David will call every legislator that he knows who has any interest in the bill or knows of someone directly involved. He will galvanize all the AFT organizers to set up phone banks, organize community events, go door knocking. In the meantime, he’s meeting with everyone who has voting power to sway the vote. He’ll call every Union President and get them and their membership involved in all of the organizing activities. He usually knows how the vote is going to go, but you know that "you win some and you lose some".  David usually gets what he wants and we have all benefited from his skills. 

David, we’ve had our moments but you know we wish you all the best!!  Congratulations on a well earned retirement, that is, are you really retiring?"

David Hecker and Terrence Martin

Terrence Martin,  a former president of the DFT, who has been elected to succeed David Hecker as the president of the statewide federation, had this to say about his predecessor:  "David Hecker has been the epitome of a trade unionist. His commitment to the broader labor movement has been inspiring to all of us." 

As he embarks on a new chapter in his life, we wish him joy, fulfillment, and all the happiness retirement has to offer. David, your impact will be felt for years to come, and your legacy will forever serve as a guiding light for all those who follow in your footsteps. Congratulations, David, and thank you for everything you have done.