Earlier in October Organizing Fellow, Yolanda King, and President Lakia Wilson-Lumpkins traveled to Texas for an AFT Human Rights Conference. While at the conference the DFT was awarded a Powerful Partnerships grant. Standing in the center, next to the DFT President is actor/activist Erika Alexander, a SAG-AFTRA award winning actress.
African American Leadership Awards 2023
Three of our own were nominated for the African American Leadership Awards: President Lakia Wilson-Lumpkins, Treasurer Rodney Fresh and Retirees Chapter Secretary, Michelle Broughton. We are pleased to announce that President Lakia Wilson-Lumpkins was the recipient of the Sophie Womack Quality of Life & Leadership award.
Listening to History
Retirees at the November Chapter meeting listened to AFT Archivist, Dan Golodner, as he gave a brief history of the DFT from 1920-1967. He presented a slide show presentation and gave some anecdotes about past DFT leadership. Displayed on the screen is a copy of the DFT charter from February 24, 1931.
New Addition to the Staff
The DFT staff has expanded by one. We are welcoming Regina Fuqua as an Organizing Fellow. She will be working alongside Yolanda King to service members with membership and dues.
The DFT and the DPS reached a settlement agreement [Download here] which resolved a number of disputes -- one of which was the lawsuit challenging the flawed evaluation, layoff, and recall procedures used by DPS. Approximately 422 teachers were laid off as a result of those flawed procedures, which were neither negotiated nor agreed to by the DFT.
Some of the highlights of the settlement are as follows:
Teachers who received an evaluation score that did not make them "eligible" for retention shall have those scores expunged from their permanent record.
This afternoon, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed our position and an earlier Court of Claims ruling that the Legislature’s imposition of the 3 percent retiree healthcare deduction from school employees’ paychecks is unconstitutional. The Attorney General is likely to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court. Until a final decision is reached, the deductions will remain in the escrow account.
This is another victory in defense of our rights and we are confident that we will ultimately prevail and get your money back to you. Unfortunately, as you know, the Legislature yesterday passed SB 1040, which eliminates retiree health care for new hires, while increasing costs for current employees and retirees. Even after we win this lawsuit, we will all be paying more for retirement.
We will continue to provide you accurate information as we get it, and remember, the Supreme Court justices we elect this November will be the ones deciding whether you get your money back or not.