'Getting rich and leaving our kids in the dirt': Tensions rise ahead of Teachers union negotiations

Posted at 4:45 AM, May 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-15 06:46:26-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit teachers have a laundry list of demands as they head into negotiations Friday.

The Detroit superintendent shot down interview requests after a tense Board of Education meeting and that set a stage for some stiff negotiations.

On Wednesday, they couldn't even get the typical Board of Education meeting going.

"I have asked you not to have outbursts so we can have our meeting," said a woman at the gathering.

That was the type of atmosphere 7 Action News saw at Tuesday night's meeting – the superintendent and others were cut-off. But teachers made it clear that they want more.

Among the top demands we're hearing right now:

  • Higher pay
  • A better student to teacher, smaller classroom sizes
  • Ability for teachers to set their own curriculum in circumstances

After years of promises, parents are fed up to, and they're siding with teachers.

"I am tired of you all coming in for five years...getting rich and leaving our kids in the dirt," one parent said.

While there's tension, the superintendent told teachers this week that he believes they deserve the highest pay in the country. But after continuous back-and-forth, he was the first to bring up issues within their schools, ranging from students that had been hit to parents being disrespected.

Stay with 7 Action News on-air and online as we follow teacher negotiations this week.