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Flint teachers clash with Board of Education

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Dozens of Flint teachers booed members of the Flint Board of Education during a meeting Wednesday, February 14, 2024.

There is an escalating conflict between the Flint Community Schools Board of Education and the district’s teachers’ union.

Dozens of teachers booed board members during a meeting Wednesday night.

“We’re overworked and we’re under paid, and we need to have the ability to take care of our own families, let alone our students and our classrooms,” said Karen Christian, United Teachers of Flint (UTF) union president.

The dispute exploded recently after the board rejected a negotiated settlement over a pair of union grievances. The grievances involved union demands on teacher recruitment and retention, pay increases and step advancements for school employees, and the school calendar.

At Wednesday’s meeting, board member Claudia Perkins-Milton read a statement citing the Flint school district’s estimated $14 million structural deficit as the reason for rejecting the grievance settlement.

“While the board appreciates working creatively with the UTF, the board must be fiscally responsible,” read Perkins-Milton.

The union has filed unfair labor practice charges with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission against the Flint Board of Education over the grievance settlement rejection.

The union is considering potential job actions, including a potential strike.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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