Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Detroit Teachers Strike: End-Game

Detroit's teachers, whose strike was effectively ended by a judge's order, reached a tentative agreement overnight with their administration. As one might suspect, they're less-than-happy:
Classes could start as early as Thursday for about 130,000 students.

Terms of the tentative deal were not immediately released revealed.

"It's a concessionary contract, there's no doubt about it," said union executive board member Vince Consiglio. He said getting a contract was a victory in itself at a time when the district was pressing hard for deep cuts, but he said union leaders would have to work hard to win approval from their members.

Messages seeking comment were left with a school district spokesman Tuesday.

The walkout began Aug. 28 after teachers rejected a two-year contract that would have cut pay 5.5 percent and increased co-payments for health care. The district wanted $88 million in concessions from the union to help close a $105 million deficit in its $1.36 billion budget for the fiscal year.

The district ratcheted up its pressure on the union last week. On Friday, a judge ordered the teachers back to work, but the majority of still defied the order on Monday, district spokesman Lekan Oguntoyinbo had said. Oguntoyinbo had warned then that attorneys would go back to court to ask the judge to "enforce our rights."
With their strike broken by the judge's order, my guess is that most teachers will vote to ratify the proposal more out of a sense of "let's just get it over with and go back to work" than the notion that they've gotten a fair deal.
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