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EDFT Newsletter

East Detroit Federation of Teachers
February 27, 2007

A new Web site created by teachers for teachers provides high-quality professional development. Check out http://www.t-source.org.

A new bill allows public school employees to name a second spouse as retirement beneficiary, if first spouse predeceases him or her naming of spouse as beneficiary if marriage occurs after retirement allowance effective date.

At the Feb. 15th Board of Education meeting, a 7-0 decision was made to allow Schools of Choice for Grades K thru 12. This would allow Macomb County residents to attend East Detroit Public Schools. Preference would first be given to Eastpointe residents. Then, if space was available, to legal residents of Macomb County. New elementary school boundaries were also approved at this meeting.

AFT is offering two $1000 scholarships, to PSRP members who are enrolled in a pre-elementary, elementary, secondary, or post secondary teacher certification program. Applications are available and may be requested by contacting the Union office at extension 4699. The application deadline is May 25, 2007.

Grievance 2007-01: The union filed a disciplinary grievance on February 6th. The question at issue is the fair and equitable treatment of EDFT members attending the January 26th professional development meeting at Oakwood Middle School.

Grievance 2007-02: On February 13th, the union filed a grievance based on reasonableness as it relates to the elimination of an entire classification of clothing material (denim) that may be worn as professional dress. As well as, the infringement upon the rights of members in their buildings to agree upon, schedule and determine the type of clothing to be worn on casual Fridays, theme and spirit days, etc.

Grievance 2007-03: Working conditions were the basis for filing a grievance on February 20, 2007. Although the superintendent had the authority to call staff members to work on February 6th, a scheduled work day, numerous teachers in the high school reported that temperatures in their classroom hovered in the 40 and 50 degree range during the morning hours and never climbed higher than the low 60's by the end of the day.

Building administrators denied all three grievances on Step 1. On February 23rd, the Union continued the process to Step 2 and met with the Superintendent for continued discussion on the three grievances.

This year Lobby Day will be on April 18, 2007. All members are welcome to join us. The day includes panel discussions, appointments with legislators, committee meetings, legislative sessions, and of course, lunch. The EDFT will provide transportation and lunch is provided by AFT-Michigan. You will need to use your own personal day to attend, however. Please e-mail or contact the office (ext. 4699) to register by Wednesday, March 21.

AFT-Michigan is pleased to present Michigan QuEST 2007, a biennial conference devoted to professional development and issues. This conference is open to all AFT Michigan members. This year's QuEST is entitled "Achieving Excellence in the Education Community." It will be held May 4-6 at the Shanty Creek Resort & Club Summit Village in Bellaire, Michigan.

EDFT will pick up the cost of the conference, hotel room, meals and transportation for eight of its members. A one ten-hour reading course "How Children Learn to Read" will be offered all day Saturday and Sunday morning. Participants can earn 1 SB-CEU credit upon completion. All conference attendees will have an opportunity to earn .5 to 1 SB-CEU credit upon completing the conference. If interested in attending QuEST, please e-mail or call the union office (ext. 4699) by March 20st.

The Union is in the process of finalizing a letter to the Superintendent and Board of Education requesting that negotiations for the 2007-08 school year initiate soon.

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