Union: Fire teachers only if they don't pay dues

Teachers will strike over proposed merit pay and seniority changes, says Keith Johnson, president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers.

“If he sticks to merit pay, school won’t start on time,” Johnson told The Detroit News editorial board Wednesday. Johnson added any threats to seniority would also be “a deal breaker. Seniority is sacred.”

However, the union wants the district to fire 70 teachers unless they pay their dues in the next 35 days, notes Education Improvement Examiner.

The Detroit Public School System is currently in a severe crises, and is being managed by an Emergency Financial Manager due to a $150 million deficit. The district has a 70% dropout rate, and they are losing thousands of students each year.

“Shouldn’t someone make sure none of those 70 teachers are outstanding educators who do a great job for their students and their districts?” asks Kyle Olson, vice president of the Education Action Group.

Hurricane Katrina wiped out New Orleans’ dreadful public school system, replacing it with a patchwork of charter schools.  I don’t think Detroit Public Schools will survive much longer.

About Joanne


  1. > I don’t think Detroit Public Schools will survive much longer.

    I’ll help you hope.

  2. Dick Eagleson says:

    I don’t think Detroit Public Schools will survive much longer.

    It is usually the case that the death of the host also dooms the parasite. Detroit appears to be well along the road to ghost town status.

  3. State and local taxes supported this parasite (government-operated schooling) for 150 years. Federal subsidies (welfare programs reinstated under President Obama) may support the new parasite (Detroit city government) indefinitely.

    To vote Socialist (Democrat) in the 21st Century is to demonstrate that one slept through the 20th century. To vote Republican is to demonstrate that one slept through the administration of Bush II and the Republican Congress. Does anyone see any sign that voters generally have awakened? I don’t.

    Parents and taxpayers who wait for voters to awaken, or on politicians to discover ethics and fiscal responsibility, will have a long wait. If you have children, homeschool.

  4. I’m shocked! Shocked I tell you, to learn that unions would hypocritically advocate firing teachers for not paying their union dues, but block firing them for being poor teachers.

  5. thaprof says:

    Let’s give the Detroit teachers’ union some credit for being honest: they could care less about educating students.

  6. Detroit does create enterprising criminals.  I regularly read about entrepreneurs coming some way out of town to e.g. recycle catalytic converters for cash.  Not their own, of course.

  7. SuperSub says:

    At least the teachers in Detroit have the ‘option’ to pay their dues. In closed-shop states like NY I never even see the portion of my pay that the unions lay claim to.

  8. Supersub,

    Beck versus CWA.
    Abood bersus Detroit Teachers Association
    Chicago Teachers Association versus Husdon
    Miller versus ALPA.

    If you have the $$$ it takes to get to the Federal Appellate level, you win.

  9. Andy Freeman says:

    > If you have the $$$ it takes to get to the Federal Appellate level, you win.

    Nope. Those decisions say that unions can’t charge non-members for some things, but can charge them for others.

    Interestingly enough, after they lose on the “no deductions” lawsuite, all of the former spending gets reclassified as the latter. (Yup, teachers unions stop spending money on politics, at least according to the accounting.)

    I don’t know if anyoe has won a lawsuit over the reclassification.

  10. Because it’s all about the kids

  11. SuperSub says:

    Any Freeman-
    Does the “reclassification” involve individual union’s memberships in larger unions, say a state union or the national unions? I’d say more than half of my union dues go to pay for our local union’s membership in NYSUT and then NEA/AFT. Last time I checked, the only thing the state or national unions do is engage in politics.