The Detroit Public School system has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the Detroit Federation of Teachers for instructing its substitute teachers to act as though they’re on the job for only a day, and do as little as possible.
In the filing with the state’s Employment Relations Commission, the school district says that the union posted instructions on its website ordering substitute teachers to stop developing lesson plans, grading assignments and meeting with parents at conferences.
DPS spokesman Steven Wasko said “It’s highly unusual for an employer to file (an unfair labor practice charge), as the filings usually come from union. But DFT’s actions and instructions to its subs to, in effect, sit around and baby-sit, were not only so outrageous that they generated national headlines, they also specifically violated the existing collective bargaining agreement agreed to by its members.”
The union says that substitute teachers, in many instances, are filling the role of regular teachers because of a teacher shortage in the area. Union president Keith Johnson defended his position saying the school district “wants to treat our substitutes like day-to-day subs and pay them like day-to-day subs,” Johnson said. “I just told them to act like day-to-day substitutes.”