DPSCD restores teacher pay and recognizes years of experience after Financial Review Committee approves the Letter of Agreement

DPSCD can now retain and competitively attract certified teachers who will receive equitable pay and begin to reduce large class sizes, transforming students’ learning experience

DETROIT – May 11, 2018 – Today, Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) Superintendent Nikolai Vitti announced the restoration of teacher pay after the Financial Review Committee (FRC) approved a Letter of Agreement (LOA) made with the District, the Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) and the American Federation of Teachers Local Unit 231. The agreement provides a one-time bonus of $1,373.60 for the 2018-2019 school year to more than 2,000 top step teachers – as well as the District’s crediting of internal and external teaching service to current and future teachers, and the repayment of the Termination Incentive Plan (TIP) funds.

The recommendation was approved by the DPSCD Board and the FRC, following their approval of the District’s 2018-2019 budget of $732 million. Previously, the District was restricted to recognizing two years of experience, which limited its ability to recruit teachers. Now, the District can offer competitive salaries and recognize outside experience, enabling DPSCD to be a competing option for certified teachers who are currently considering suburban school districts.

“This is unquestionably one of the longest steps we have taken toward rebuilding the District,” said Nikolai Vitti, DPSCD superintendent. “It simultaneously moves us closer to making teachers whole after Emergency Management while also having a sustainable impact on our children by limiting vacancies and reducing class size.”

“I am pleased about today’s Financial Review Commission approval of the District’s plan to better compensate educators who have endured years of salary cuts and step freezes,” said Ivy Bailey, Detroit Federation of Teachers President. “This effort should help to retain current teachers, recruit more, and reduce class size—a major concern of DFT members. We’ve always stated what’s best for educators is best for students. Many challenges and concerns remain but this is a step in the right direction.”

On July 27, 2017, the DFT ratified a new contract agreement with the District benefiting approximately 3,900 teachers and other school-related personnel. Since its adoption, the District saw a decrease in teacher vacancies – which were approximately 275 last year, and are currently 190 – while the District added 250 additional classrooms with the return of the Education Achievement Authority schools.

“As a school board and leadership team, we understand to reach our goals and realize our vision, we need to act boldly and strategically,” said Iris Taylor, DPSCD board president. “Dr. Vitti has problem-solved and developed trust with our teachers and DFT to strategically move our budget to address the Board’s priorities. We are now positioned to be successful by attracting and retaining employees needed to do this urban public education reform work.”

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