DPSCD Reaches Two-Year Contract Agreement with DFT: Increased Salaries, Steps and Bonuses

  • Veteran top step teachers will receive a 4 percent increase each year (Since 2017, veteran average teacher salaries have increased ~$12,500; and top step pay will now exceed $81,000)
  • Teachers and ancillary staff below the top step will receive a step each year (Since 2017, non-top step teachers have had average salaries increase by ~$7,811; beginning teachers will now earn ~$54,000)
  • All ESE (formerly special education) teachers will receive a $15K bonus, this was previously announced by the District but recognized by DFT in this agreement. This bonus is a verbal reoccurring commitment beyond the two-year agreement.
  • Retention supplements will be paid for long-term and day-to-day substitute position
  • All DFT employees will receive a $2,000 holiday bonus and employees, including teachers who have served the District for over 20 years will receive a $3,000 longevity bonus. All bonus are retirement eligible.
  • This financial agreement is in addition to $2,000 in hazard pay that all DFT employees will receive, and an additional $2,000 if a teacher must teach online due to quarantining students.

DETROIT – September 2, 2021 – Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) and the Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) Local 231, reached agreement on a two-year successor contract, prior to the start of the 21-22 school year. DPSCD Superintendent, Dr. Nikolai Vitti and DFT President Terrance Martin agreed to terms on August 26. DFT members ratified the agreement on September 1. The unit reached a safe reopening plan agreement in August which outlines additional hazard and blended learning bonuses while outlining agreed upon safety guidelines.  

“The fact that the district and DFT have reached agreement on 4 contract agreements in 4 years (for the span of 6 years) means that we are delivering on our commitment to continually celebrate and enhance teachers in our district. Each contract agreement narrows the salary gap between our teachers and others throughout the state and area. It also signals that our reform work is headed in the right direction, especially when it comes to recruiting and retaining teachers. As we open the school year, we will have hired 100 extra teachers to reduce class size and build a bench for future teacher retirements. To cross the finish line to ensure our teachers are the highest paid we will need to increase enrollment and dramatically alter an inequitable local funding formula that enables wealthier districts to offer higher reoccurring salaries to teachers,” said Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, DPSCD.  

Since 2017, DPSCD teachers have incurred steady pay increases, some as high as $15,000 in five years, since DPSCD returned to local control under an elected school board and appointed superintendent. These actions support the District’s continued progress of attracting and retaining teachers and will assist in continuing to prepare for smaller class sizes and in anticipation of teachers eligible for retirement in the coming years. 

DFT members include 4,343 unit members who directly serve students across 54 job classifications primarily functioning as teachers, master teachers, training and support coordinators, and auxiliary staff members such as academic interventionists, attendance agents, counselors, psychologists, social workers, and treating therapists that serve our most vulnerable student populations.  

“One of the District’s priorities remains to support exceptional talent. As we navigate through this pandemic, we know that our teachers and our staff deserve the absolute best for their challenging work and continued dedication. When we started as a board in 2017, we knew that our teachers’ salaries needed to increase. Now, entering our fourth agreement, this has been a demonstrative commitment to working with our union leaders, and we remain committed to our relentless journey to ensure that our teachers are the highest paid in the state one day,” said Angelique Peterson-Mayberry, DPSCD Board of Education President. “Much work has been done; however, more work remains, and we thank the DFT Leadership Team for their collaboration and the shared vision for our teachers.”  

This is the fourth contract agreement between DFT, the current Superintendent and the DPSCD Board of Education over a five-year period, which has also included the signing of dozens of Letters of Agreement on various reform topics. The Superintendent is authorized to negotiate on the School Board’s behalf in negotiations and receives thresholds of funding and terms as defined in closed sessions. The School Board will officially approve the agreement at the September Board Meeting. 

Below are the negotiated terms of the 2020-2021 One-Year Tentative Agreement under consideration by DFT unit members: 

  1. Two-year agreement (SY 2021-2023);
  2. Top step veteran teachers will receive a 4% base wage increase each year (SY 21-22 and 22-23);
  3. Teachers and ancillary staff below top step (Steps 1-14) will advance one step each year (SY 21-22 and 22-23) on the salary schedule;
  4. New teachers hired at $51K will receive a 3% increase each year (SY 21-22 and 22-23) but will not move to Step 11 on the scale;
  5. DFT hourly employees will receive a 4% increase each year (SY 21-22 and 22-23), this includes Attendance Agents;
  6. Retirees in the areas of ESE (formerly special education), K-8 self-contained teachers (teach all subject areas), secondary math, secondary science, and psychologists will be moved at the top step. All other retirees will be at $51K;
  7. All employees under DFT will receive a $2,000 holiday one-time bonus each year (SY 21-22 and 22-23), this includes long-term substitute teachers;
  8. Day to day substitutes will receive a one-time bonus of $1K each year;
  9. Academic Interventionists will move to salaried employees and will receive a 4% increase each year (SY 21-22 and 22-23);
  10. All counselors will have a minimum salary of $51K, similar to teachers;
  11. Career Tech Education (CTE) teachers can accelerate to Step 7 with professional experience or Step 11 with degrees;
  12. The $15K bonus for all ESE teachers is officially recognized by DFT in the agreement;
  13. EIDC, Project Find, and Head Start team will receive a $1K bonus each year (SY 21-22 and 22-23);
  14. DFT unit members with 20 years or more of service in the district will receive a $3K one-time bonus each year (SY 21-22 and 22-23);
  15. Athletic coach supplements will increase by 10%;
  16. All one-time bonuses are retirement eligible;
  17. Newly defined salary step schedule for JROTC teachers;
  18. This is in addition to the already agreed upon LOA for Reopening of School this fall, which includes $2K for hazard pay and $2K for blended learning (i.e. teaching in person and online, if necessary).  

About Detroit Public Schools Community District    

Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) is Michigan’s largest public education system. It is governed by a locally elected, seven-member board with Dr. Nikolai Vitti serving as superintendent. The District’s mission is to provide every student with a beneficial and rightful educational experience, preparing students to be career and college ready, and qualified to compete in the global market. The District has more than 100 schools and educates 51,000 children. For more information, visit detroitk12.org and follow @detroitk12 on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.