Wage Cuts Imposed On Detroit School Staff

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DETROIT, July 29 (UPI) — Detroit public school employees will have their wages and benefits cut by $81 million in August, the district’s emergency manager said Friday.

Roy Roberts announced that all 10,000 workers in the district, including those in unions, will take a 10 percent pay cut starting Aug. 23 and will be charged for 20 percent of their medical costs from Sept. 1, The Detroit Free Press reported.

It will be first invocation of Michigan’s new emergency manager law, which lets the state-appointed manager modify or terminate a union contract after meeting and conferring with union representatives.

The cutbacks are needed to close the district’s $327 million deficit, Roberts said.

“We are in an extremely difficult financial period for Detroit public schools, requiring extreme measures,” he said.

“I’m not taking this lying down,” Keith Johnson, president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, said Friday.

The 2011-2012 budget calls for closing 11 schools, cutting $231 million in expenses, eliminating 796 jobs and issuing $200 million in long-term bonds.

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