Detroit’s new emergency financial manager, Roy Roberts, is imposing a 10% wage cut on all 10,000 employees of Detroit Public Schools (DPS), according to Labor Notes. On top of this, he is making them pay 20% of their own health care (up from 10% last year). All of this is possible thanks to Michigan’s Financial Martial Law bill, passed in March.
The law gives appointed financial managers the authority to impose budget cuts in cities, towns, and school districts, cancel union contracts and remove any elected local officials.
The wage cuts come on top of an already devastating 2011-2012 budget that shut down or privatized 14 schools and fired 800 employees. Furthermore, most of the district’s unions had already made concessions such as accepting furloughs.
The district has lost nearly half its schools over the last three years. Nearly half of all Detroit children will be attending charter schools this year.