The keynote speaker for the DFT231R chapter meeting in September was Jason Posey, the executive vice-president. He thanked the attendees for their service to the union post-retirement. He also urged the retirees to come into schools to talk to members about organizing and the importance of belonging to a union. To purchase the t-shirt and other updated information for retirees go to the drop down menu of membership, tab is Retirees.
Thank You Building Reps
Building reps were given practice in writing grievances at the September Building Representatives Professional Development. It was great to see new faces. Organizing Fellow, Yolanda King, facilitates these monthly workshops so building reps can be kept current on best practices and also have an opportunity to mingle with their peers.
DFT Pickets with UAW
DFT members, along with other unions, walked the picket line with striking UAW workers earlier in September. The DFT led chants of No Deals, No Wheels and Let's Go, Local 9 oh oh. The DFT stands in solidarity with the auto workers.
DFT Congratulates David Hecker
DFT members turned out to celebrate the retirement of David Hecker. Current and former DFT members stand behind the sign that shows the state federation building that has been named the David Hecker Building. City of Detroit Mayor, Mike Duggan, expresses his well wishes at the event.
WHAT'S NEW: Join President Wilson-Lumpkins for this Celebration of Women's History Month
You are invited to the Second Annual Crowning & Cultivating: Women in Leadership Colloquium. The event, celebrating Women's Month, will be held Saturday, March 25th, at 1 pm.Join us to be empowered, encouraged and loved on! Come share your stories and hear the stories of other powerful women. Come out and enjoy a transforming experience with many statewide leaders. We are pleased to announce Laura Dickerson ( UAW Region 1A Director ) as the Keynote speaker. Other speakers include Lakia Wilson Lumpkins (DFT President), The HonorableMonique Baker McCormick (Dist. 6 Wayne County Commissioner) and more. We will also celebrate the amazing life of Ruby Newbold, retired president of DAEOE Local 4168. Newbold was a true icon throughout the state of Michigan.
If you are interested, please RSVP below. Use the code "Crown" to receive 25% off any purchase.
What:Second Annual Crowning & Cultivating: Women in Leadership Colloquium
When: Saturday March 25th, 2023
Time: 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Where: Sheet Metal Workers Local 80 -17100 W 12 Mile Rd Southfield MI 48076
Kudos to Vice President, Robin Jennings, for speaking on behalf of our union for repealing Right to Work in Michigan. Please share this video with your family and friends. Michigan wouldl be the first state in the country to repeal Right to Work.
Last Thursday, Donna Jackson, President of the Detroit Federation of Paraprofessionals, Local 2350, Lincoln Stocks, President of the Eastpointe Federation of Educators, Local 698, Detroit Federation of Teachers, Local 231 President Lakia Wilson-Lumpkins and activists Dwan McGrady and Nastassia Szpaichler offered testimony in support of HB 4044. HB 4044 repeals PA 54 which freezes any step increases, makes employees fully responsible for healthcare increases, and prohibits retroactive pay if a collective bargaining agreement expires before a new one is reached. The members effectively highlighted other issues impacting educators from the various prohibited subjects of bargaining, the privatization of support staff and the limitation of some bargaining rights for DPSCD teachers. Their testimony set the stage for a future slate of bills that will restore the rights of educators across our state and address the critical teacher shortage we are facing. We will continue to work with our allies to ensure our members can make their voices and experience heard as these bills move through the legislature.
WHAT'S NEW: Meet our President, Lakia Wilson-Lumpkins
For more than 25 years, Lakia Wilson-Lumpkins has been an active member in the Detroit Federation of Teachers. She started her career as a first grade teacher at Spain Elementary & Middle School in 1997. Upon completion of a Master’s Degree in counseling and the timely retirement of Spain’s counselors, Lakia was able to obtain a counseling position at Spain and continue advocating and building relationships with students, families, and staff while leveraging support from stakeholders in the community in which she loved. Lakia recalls the anxiety of walking the picket line in the strike of 1999 and the excitement of delivering Spain Schools’ ballots in the election of officers to the DFT office, which formerly stood next to Dittrich Furs on Third Avenue. Lakia has always provided support to the DFT at the building level as the Building Representative, Alternate, and Union Committee.
In 2014, Lakia was elected to her first term on the DFT Executive Board. Since then, Lakia has served as both Vice President and Executive Vice President of the DFT. With the onset of the 2023-2025 biennium, Lakia is humbled, privileged and blessed to be elected as the 9th President of the DFT. Professionally, Lakia is honored to represent over 3000 of the world’s best educators and support staff.
In Lakia's family, education and unionism have a long history. Her mother was the first black teacher at St. Anne Catholic School in Southwest Detroit for 7 years (now closed). She ultimately retired as a proud MEA member from Mount Clemens Public Schools after 24 years of teaching both kindergarten and first grade. Lakia’s father, after 40 years of work, retired as a proud Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly Plant employee. Her uncles were Sleeping Car Porters, and she has three UAW proud brothers who worked for each of the Big Three—Ford, Chrysler, and GM—with one becoming a union steward for the Bakery and Confectionery Union at Hostess Cake. Her aunts were educators as well. Currently, Lakia’s sister teaches 1st grade in Maryland, her goddaughter is a second year teacher in Tennessee, while her nephew is a professor in Texas. “The love of learning and teaching runs in the family”, claims Lakia.
A lifelong Detroiter—born, raised, living and working in Detroit, Lakia is an outspoken advocate for social, educational and economic justice. Lakia has been featured on many media outlets. Most notable are her appearances on C-SPAN during the AFL-CIO Raising Wages Summit, AFT “Life Inside Detroit Public Schools”, NBC News Learn, and HBO Real Sports.
Lakia is a Mount Clemens High School alumna. She graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Science Education, and Oakland University with a Master of Arts in Counseling. She holds Principal Certification from Lamar University, and is currently working toward her doctoral degree in Leadership at the American College of Education.
Lakia, who still qualifies herself as a newlywed, shares her home with her amazing husband Michael and their energetic eight-year-old son Noah.
WHAT'S NEW: DFT Election Results
Here are the results of the DFT Election which were announced at the end of the March 2023 General Membership Meeting.
one (1) vacancy on Executive Board
Gavin Buckley 26
Stephen Conn 22
Rachele Green 39
Kwesi Matthews 4
Kimberly L. Mitchell 69
Kimberly L. Mitchell was declared the winner in this race. She will be sworn in at the April General Membership meeting.
three (3) positions on the Election Committee
Cheryl Constantino 21
Hope Gibson 42
Theodosia Gulley 21
Tamika Merchant 87
Jacqueline Robinson 93
Queen Watkins 102
The three members who were elected to the Election Committee are Queen Watkins, Jacqueline Robinson and Tamika Merchant. They will be sworn in at the April General Membership meeting.
WHAT'S NEW: Premiere of Rosa Parks Film
The DFT was proud to be a part of this special event: the film premiere at the Detroit Institute of Arts about the life of Rosa Parks. After the screening AFT National President, Randi Weingarten, was part of a special conversation moderated by the film’s executive producer Soledad O’Brien with Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s Secretary of State, the film’s directors Yoruba Richen and Johanna Hamilton, the book's author, Dr. Jeanne Theoharis and Lonnie McCauley, Rosa Parks’ grandnephew.