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Detroit Federation of Teachers members ratify new, two-year contract

Boy in classroom with his hand raised
Mercedes Mejia
Michigan Radio
A charter advocacy group gives Michigan's charter law a passing grade

The Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) has reached a two-year contract agreement with the state's largest school district, the Detroit Public Schools Community District.

Union president Terrence Martin said the contract includes pay increases that make the district competitive with neighboring school districts.

"I think this pandemic has shown us how important our front line workers are," said Martin, "from our nurses, to those who work in food service, as well as teachers. It's nice to be able to see that a school district sees that, and they are able to compensate accordingly."

Martin saic it's been about 18 months since teachers were physically in the classroom, so the start of the school year is a milestone. Classes resume September 7.

Teachers who only want to teach virtually will be able to teach at the district's virtual school if there is sufficient demand.

DFT has more than 4,300 members. The contract was ratified by just over 75% of members.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.