Today in Shocking..or Not.

Way back in March, I wrote about how MI gov Snyder declared himself King of Michigan and would be assigning Lord Protectors. That's really a semantic difference from the reality--the legislation passed gave the governor (or a company hired by the governor) the power to declare areas (cities/towns/school districts) insolvent. And because of that, a "fiscal emergency" would occur and the governor or his agent can appoint an emergency manager to oversee all financial issues. From the legislation:
The emergency manager shall have broad powers in receivership to rectify the financial emergency and to preserve the local government's capacity to provide necessary governmental services essential to the public health, safety, and welfare. Upon the declaration of receivership and during the pendency of receivership, the governing body and the chief administrative officer of the local government may not exercise any of the powers of those offices except as may be specifically authorized in writing by the emergency manager and are subject to any conditions required by the emergency manager.

5) All of the following apply to an emergency manager:

(a) The emergency manager shall be chosen on the basis of competence.
(b) The emergency manager may but need not be a resident of the local government.
(c) The emergency manager may be an individual or firm.
(d) The emergency manager shall serve at the pleasure of the state treasurer, with the concurrence of the superintendent of public instruction if the local government is a school district.
(e) The emergency manager's compensation and reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses shall be paid by the local government and shall be set forth in a contract approved by the state treasurer.
You notice that? You pay for your new ruler! Anyway, this is the relevant bit to today's news--in Section 19 it says:
(j) Reject, modify, or terminate 1 or more terms and conditions of an existing contract. After meeting and conferring with the appropriate bargaining representative and, if in the emergency manager's sole discretion and judgment, a prompt and satisfactory resolution is unlikely to be obtained, reject, modify, or terminate 1 or more terms and conditions of an existing collective bargaining agreement. The rejection, modification, or termination of 1 or more terms and conditions of an existing collective bargaining agreement under this subdivision is a legitimate exercise of the state's sovereign powers [...]
And, so, what has happened is that Detroit Public Schools' (new) Lord Protector, er, Emergency Manager, has slashed teacher pay by ten percent, without regard to the union contract:
A 10 percent wage reduction would mean an average of $7,300 per teacher for the teachers expected to return this fall, DFT officials have said.


Keith January, president of the AFSCME local, which has 1,400 member at DPS, including food service workers and bus attendants and aids for special needs students, said the pay cut and health care cost increase will force his employees to consider public assistance.

"It will devastate our bargaining unit, who all make less than $24,000 a year," he said.
Which will put even more people below--or even further below-- poverty limits.

Teachers, by the way, were already voluntarily giving a $250 deduction back to the district every two weeks. It is illegal for teachers to strike in MI and the president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, Keith Johnson, has not indicated that they will--but they reject this plan all the same.

Time will tell to see if this further fuels a voter referendum to get rid of the law.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus