Trials of a Detroit Teacher, Abandoned by the DFT
I am a Detroit Public School “teacher”. You will understand the quotes after you hear my story. First and foremost, I am certified, I have an endorsement in the area in which I am teaching and I earned a Master’s degree. According to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) policy, I would be considered a highly qualified teacher. You may think I bring home a descent salary, well listen closely, I Don’t. My last pay check was close to $600.00 after taxes. The reason is because; I (along with some other teachers) have been re-classified as a Long Term Substitute teacher. Yes, some of us are in the classroom doing the same things as regular salaried teachers, such as completing lesson plans, grades, attendance, attending staff meetings, and most importantly teaching lessons to students. This position also means during Christmas, Winter and Spring Break I am not paid like salaried teachers, in fact I need to say we are paid on a daily rate. When I went to speak with someone in personnel, I asked about the salary difference, their response was something of the nature as take the position or get fired. Why am I finding out that the District is still hiring teachers, while others are still laid-off? Also, last week in the Sundays newspaper the district had in the employment section of the paper an ad to hire four Board Secretaries earning a minimum salary of $29,404 up to $42,104. The minimum salary is very close to mine, even though they were only required to earn an Associates degree.
The question you may be asking is what is the Union doing about this? I can answer two ways confidently, “nothing” or “pussy footing around”. Unfortunately, I (along with some other teachers) went through this same scenario last year. The teachers won a lawsuit in October 2005, to be re-classified back to our proper teaching positions with retro pay. We were supposed to receive our money back in December 2005, according to the lawsuit. Here we are March 19, 2006, no money from last year arbitration win and some teachers are going through the same things.
I really need for you to do me a major favor. The favor would be to pass the word on how Detroit School District and The Detroit Federation of Teachers are doing the hard working teachers in the district injustice to the teaching profession. From what I hear the teachers are suppose to take off from work on Wednesday if the District take out money from our check on Tuesday. I DO NOT support this or my Union. I really have more to share, but so little time.
I heard on DPS web-site they are still offering to hire teachers. I will also check this out . www.detroit.k12.mi.us/employment/instructional.shtml
Signed a very disappointed Certified Long Term Sub