At the September Regular Board Meeting, we are asking members to let the school board and superintendent know how placement has impacted your career. Teacher Placement was a prohibited subject of bargaining since 2011. What effect has it had on your job? You are encouraged to participate in public comment and send emails as a follow-up.
Take Action! Make Your Voices Heard!
Make your views known to those in Congress and the state legislatures who represent you on the issues that affect educators, students and working families every day. Visit the AFT's Take Action page.
Use the link above to let Lansing know that the district needs its money. Three years ago the state settled the Detroit Literacy Lawsuit. A part of that settlement mandated that DPSCD would receive at least $94 million for literacy programs. That money has yet to be allocated in the state budget. HELP CHANGE THAT! Sign this petition and have it sent to your state representative and senator. It's past time for the Governor and the lawmakers to do right by the district. It will only take a few minutes of your time. Then, share the petition link with your family and friends.
Keeping Up the Pressure!
It was a great showing of solidarity at Tuesday night's DPSCD School Board meeting, with a broad range of speakers at the microphone or on-line. It was obvious the turnout of union folks at Western International HS had a major effect. Our work is not done! We need to continue to show our presence for the rest of the school year.
If we do not speak to the issues, they do not come to the forefront. It is up to us, the largest labor union within DPSCD, to hold the superintendent and the school board accountable for all their actions. The dialogue between some school board members and the superintendent after the public comments proved that more work needs to be done as it pertains to the 2023-2024 school budget.
We want to urge everyone to continue with our email blasts to the school board. Keep it up! References were made several times during the board meeting by different school board members that they were getting the emails. At Tuesday night's meeting some board members stated they were not aware that pink slips went out to employees. If you were an employee who received a layoff notice, please attach it to your email. How does a school board make informed, intelligent, responsible decisions if they are not made aware of the actions of HR?
Our Take Action! will not stop. We need to keep the pressure on the school board.
1. Keep writing those emails and send it to every board member! Use the template that was provided in the Union Hotline! Take Action! email sent on Monday, April 17th or go to the Take Action tab on the DFT website. Help us do the work! Spread the word.
2. Show up for the Board's meetings and sign up for public comment. We know the Finance meetings are during the work day so if you can, log on during your prep or lunch hour. Much of the decision making done by the school board is made at these committee meetings. Here are the dates (both virtual and in person) for April, May and June.
DPSCD Finance Committee Meeting Friday, Apr. 28, 2023 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
In-Person Meeting Fisher Building, 12th Floor Conference Room Join by Computer: https://bit.ly/DPSCDBoardMeetings (please copy and paste link) Join by Telephone 1 (301) 715-8592 Webinar ID: 82002207102#
DPSCD Regular School Board Meeting on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
DPSCD Finance Committee Meeting Friday, June 2, 2023 2023 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
DPSCD Regular School Board Meeting on Tuesday, June 13, 2023 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
3. Attend the State of the Schools Sessions. There will be a flyer sent with more specific details but the dates for the sessions are
Saturday, April 29th (12 noon-2 pm)
Tuesday, May 2nd (6:00-8:00 pm)
Thursday, May 4th (6:00-8:00 pm)
4. Discuss these impending job cuts at your building with your staff. The work performed by College Transition Advisors, Attendance Agents, Deans of Culture, and Paraeducators is not going away. Who will be responsible for performing these tasks? Reach out to those members in your work location who are facing a job cut. Let them know that the Union is engaging its members in Take Action! As we know, an injury to one is an injury to all.
Save Our Jobs!
Here are some ways you can help our union members, from the DFT and other locals, who are facing job layoffs and reassignments. These ideas were discussed at the April General Membership Meeting and members agreed we need to make our voices heard.
1. Show up at the School Board Meeting tomorrow night. As you may know, some of our DFT members have already received layoff notices. An injury to one is an injury to all. The College Transition Advisors were not even told this was a possibility at their engagement meeting with Dr. Vitti. Imagine how they felt when they were blindslided with a pink slip last Wednesday evening. They had been told they would receive assistance in being moved to other positions, not lose their job, their livelihood.
Wear the red DFT shirt to tomorrow's meeting. (If you don't have this DFT shirt, wear red. We will have some union shirts available at the board meeting.) Encourage staff at your building to show up for the board meeting, too. The "wear red for ed" will send a strong message to the school board and the community that we are serious about doing what is best for students.
2. Sign up for public comment at the board meeting (whether virtual or in person). Let the community know that just because these jobs are under consideration for elimination, it does not mean the work they do will stop. Who is the burden going to fall on if we lose attendance agents, college transition advisors, deans of cultures, parapros? It will fall on you, no matter what job classification you hold within the DFT.
3. Blast the school board members with emails this week! Personalize the emails by sending a photograph of you, a DFT member, standing beside someone who is being threatened with the loss of their job. We need our college transition advisors! We need our deans of cultures! We need our attendance agents! We need our paraprofessionals! If you need help in crafting an email, use the template we have provided. You can edit the email if you would like. Send the same email to each school board member.
Subject: Urgent - Saving Ancillary Staff Jobs
Dear _______________________________________(insert school board member's name here),
I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to you today, as a DFT member, to urge you to consider the importance of our ancillary staff members and to advocate for their continued employment.
Why I value our _______(insert title of the person in the photograph) is because they are part of the backbone of our school. They provide invaluable support to our teachers, administrators, and students, and their contributions to our school are immeasurable. Our ancillary staff members are integral to our mission of providing a quality education to every student by ensuring that our students receive the support they need to succeed. From calling and making home visits to parents of students with high absenteeism, small group instruction and interventions, assisting with financial aid and college scholarship applications to restorative practices and much, much more. Our support staff brothers, sisters and siblings are priceless!
Removing _________ (insert name and title of person in photograph) will have a direct impact on my students because ___________________________________________. My students will suffer dramatically. This is why the work of the ________________________(insert title of person in photograph) is imperative to our school!
We simply cannot afford to lose the talent and expertise of our ancillary staff members. I urge you to consider the impact that their loss would have on our school community. The work of these individuals will still need to be done and that means more burden and more stress for classroom teachers to undertake.
I understand that difficult decisions must be made, but I hope that you will join me in advocating for our ancillary staff members and finding creative solutions to keep them employed. Thank you for your time and attention to this important matter.
Please join us as we meet in Lansing on Tuesday, April 25, 2023 to advocate for equitable funding for Michigan's public schools. The Michigan Education Justice Coalition has planned an entire day demonstrating support for full and fair school funding of Michigan's schools. Registration can be completed at School Funding Advocacy Day 2023. Breakfast, lunch and snacks will be proviced. Can we count on you?
Precinct Delegate Training April 8, 2023
Are you looking for a way to be involved in the democratic process in your neighborhood? It's not too late to start. Every precinct in the state needs a delegate.
You are invited to a free precinct delegate training hosted by United Precinct Delegates. The Power of the Precinct Delegate training will be held Saturday, April 8, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. in midtown. Remember, grassroots creates all movements.
All participants who plan to attend must RSVP. There will be no walk-ins allowed. Seating is limited. If you wish to attend, please click here to RSVP. The exact location will be emailed on April 2, 2023. Breakfast, lunch and free parking will be available.
Take Action at May 16, 2023 DPSCD School Board Meeting
Be sure to arrive early for a brief rally at 4:30. See you there!
Retirees to Lobby in Lansing April 12, 2023
Support the retirees at this Lobby Day in Lansing!
The Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans will be holding its second quarter regular meeting on Wednesday, April 12 @ 10:00 a.m. They will meet at the MEA Building, 1216 Kendale Blvd, rooms A, B, C in East Lansing, Michigan. After a brief meeting and legislative update, they will go to the Capital and meet with state representatives and state senators to lobby on behalf of union retirees and members. Items to be brought to lawmakers attention will be
repealing the pension tax
funding local and state pension plans
lowering the cost of prescription drugs
Some transportation will be provided to and from the Capital but wear comfortable shoes and dress for the spring weather. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided.
For more information, reach out to Jim Pederson, President of the Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans at firstname.lastname@example.org.