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Detroit teachers to vote on new contract this week

Beenish Ahmed
Michigan Radio
DPSCD superintendent Nikolai Vitti's administration reached a tentative new contract deal with the teacher's union.

Detroit Federation of Teachers members have until Thursday to vote on whether or not to approve a proposed new contract.

Contract talks between the teacher’s union and the Detroit Public Schools Community District dragged on for most of the summer, but the two sides finally reached a tentative deal this past weekend.

Union president Lakia Wilson-Lumpkins declined to release many details about the agreement before the vote. But she did say that the DFT’s focus in this round of talks was raising pay for teachers at the higher end of the salary scale--and they achieved that goal.

“This will be the largest raise that members have received since 1989,” Wilson-Lumpkins said. She noted that starting pay for DPSCD teachers is among the highest in Metro Detroit, at around $51,000 a year.

Wilson-Lumpkins said she’s “confident” teachers will approve the deal. “We are pleased with the end result,” she said. “I should say it was very difficult, this negotiation season was, but we got it done.”

Teachers have until noon Thursday to cast their votes. DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti has not made not made any public comment on the tentative agreement, and a district spokeswoman did not offer additional information on Tuesday. The district is scheduled to resume classes next Monday.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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