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Detroit teachers meet with union about sickouts

Posted: 6:23 PM, Jan 14, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-14 18:59:30-05

Hundreds of Detroit Public School teachers gathered today to meet with union officials.

They want to know what steps they'll be taking to address the numerous concerns the teachers expressed through a series of sickouts and protests this week.

The meeting was supposed to start at 4:30, but there was such a huge turnout the union meeting was relocated to Fellowship Chapel.

You can certainly feel the pent up frustration after this week's events.

This meeting comes after three days of staged sickouts by hundreds of DPS teachers across dozens of schools starting with the mass sickout on Monday that forced more than 60 schools to close.

The Detroit Federation of Teachers all week has said the union didn’t sanction the sickouts.

Leaders say teachers have no other means to get their voices heard about deteriorating buildings, a shortage of school supplies, large class sizes, pay and benefit cuts, and the ongoing frustration that the emergency manager and state are at odds with them.

“Our information needs to get out because what’s going on here in Detroit, it is unbelievable,” says teacher Michael Robertson. “Emergency financial managers pop out of nowhere, they have nothing to offer, but they come here they leave with $1.5 million in fees. They do nothing for the district, they do nothing for education, they do nothing for what they’re told to come out here to do."

Union members are also eager to hear from the president of the AFT - Randi Weingarten. They want to hear how the union is going to address their concerns going forward.