Hamtramck teachers and district begin contract negotiations

Hamtramck Federation of Teachers President Toni Coral says the union will be asking for more money and a greater voice in district operations.

From left, Hamtramck Federation of Teachers President Toni Coral; Jan Vujic, a teacher from Dickinson West; and Michigan Federation of Teachers President Dave Hecker

Contract negotiations between Hamtramck Public Schools and its teachers union started Monday.

Teachers held a rally before representatives met with administrators. Hamtramck Federation of Teachers President Toni Coral told assembled members the union would be asking for more money and a greater voice in district operations.

“We’ve lost a lot of teachers,” Coral said. “And right now our beginning pay is not competitive at all, and our pay across the board isn’t competitive if you look at other districts of even comparable sizes.”

Coral says a good contract would allow teachers to collaborate in restoring stability to a district that has been in crisis. Hamtramck Public Schools has suffered from a high number of staff resignations this school year.

She says teachers want to be in the mix when colleagues and supervisors are hired. The union is also asking that break time be protected and teachers consulted about how and when the district turns to remote learning.

“The last few years have been tough,” Coral said. “They’ve been really, really tough. The fall into now has been really, really rocky and we can’t go on like this.”

The union hopes to complete negotiations before spring break.

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Author

  • Sascha Raiyn

    Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.