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WHAT'S NEW: Layoffs Rescinded for Attendance Agents

The district’s proposed layoffs for our Attendance Agents have been rescinded.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. 


WHAT'S NEW: DFT Attends State Federation Leadership Summit


The DFT participated in the annual AFT Michigan Leadership Summit at the University of Michigan-Dearborn last weekend. Treasurer Rodney Fresh, EVP Jason Posey, President Lakia Wilson and Executive Board Member, Marcus Walton, were joined by Eva Coleman, president of the Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff (ACTA).  The summit focused on three areas: collective bargaining, organizing, and legislative strategies for the year ahead.  


Terrence Martin

We are excited that one of our own, former DFT President, Terrence Martin, has been named to succeed David Hecker as President of AFT Michigan. Martin recently stepped down as the head of this union in January 2023, a position he had held for 4 years. He became a member of Local 231 when he came to the district as a teacher in 1997. Since that time he has served as a building representative, the treasurer of the union, a labor affairs administrator, community engagement and political action coordinator, executive vice-president and then president. We wish him all the best in this new endeavor.

WHAT'S NEW: Congratulations to DFP President, Donna Jackson


Congratulations to President Donna Jackson, Detroit Federation of Paraprofessionals, Local 2350, for receiving the inaugural Ruby Newbold award at this year's AFT PSRP Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. Donna has served as DFP president for the past 13 years, having started her career in the district in 2005. The DFP represents paraeducators, noon hour aides, and school culture facilitators in the Detroit Public Schools Community District. Upon receiving this award, Donna says she was so surprised and honored. What makes this even more special is the connection between Donna Jackson and Ruby Newbold. Both women served as presidents of their locals within the Detroit Public Schools at the same time. The award was created to honor the late Ruby Newbold and her dedication to advocating for the most vulnerable students and the school employees who supported them. It's clear that President Jackson shares that passion as she is committed to fighting for what our students need and what our union brothers, sisters, and siblings deserve.

WHAT'S NEW: 2023 Summer School LOA

Please check this link for details of Summer School 2023. The LOA speaks to Program Schedules, Wages, Staff Requirements and Class Size.