Some Detroit public school teachers call for strike ahead of fall reopening

Posted at 4:32 PM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 16:32:36-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Some teachers in the Detroit Public Schools Community District are calling on the district's union to take a strike action ahead of the fall reopening of schools.

They have scheduled a 5pm news conference to formally announce their call for a strike.

According to a news release, their concerns surround the delta variant.

In the news release, DPSCD teacher and EON/BAMN Caucus member Benjamin Royal said, “The spread of the Delta variant represents a dangerous new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pediatric ICU admissions are surging all over the country. Vaccines are not even available yet for a majority of students. We are calling on the Detroit Federation of Teachers to hold an immediate strike vote. Every DPSCD union should do the same. We have to stop this reopening to protect ourselves, our students, and our school communities. A strike vote is also the most important step we can take to win a quality DFT contract. ‘No contract, no work’ is the way to win both of these fights.”

In response to the call for a strike action, Dr. Nikolai Vitti, DPSCD Superintendent released the following statement:

The District and the Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) reached a collaborative and legally abiding agreement to open schools with all DFT employees working in person at the start of the regular school year. Unfortunately, the individuals and organization making this proclamation do not collectively speak for our teachers, employees, families, and students. The vast majority of our students and families are requesting that schools open once again this fall. Any student or family that is requesting an online option will, and can, attend our virtual school. This announcement is irresponsible, selfish, and frankly not in touch with how everyday students and families are thinking about the upcoming school year. DPSCD will always be aligned with federal and state health officials regarding the appropriateness of opening or closing schools as it relates to COVID.

At this time, there has been no official word from the union about the call for a strike.

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