Supporter, opponent spar over stricter MI teacher strike sanctions

Feb 4, 2016

Were the recent “sickouts” staged by dozens of Detroit Public School teachers actually an illegal strike? 

Michigan Senate Republicans think so. We hear from David Hecker of the American Federation of Teachers Michigan and Tony Daunt with the Michigan Freedom Fund.

Darnell Earley is stepping down as emergency manager of Detroit's public schools later this month.
Credit Michigan Municipal League / flickr creative commons

These are tumultuous times in Michigan. In Flint, thousands of people are contending with lead-tainted water. And in Detroit, public school teachers are protesting what they say are deplorable working conditions and incompetent state oversight.

Dozens of DPS teachers have staged sickouts in recent weeks, forcing the majority of city schools to close. Republican lawmakers say that amounted to an illegal strike, and they're taking their own action. A series of bills in the Michigan Senate would impose strong sanctions on striking teachers.

The drama in Detroit is unfolding in the midst of the announcement this week that the school district’s emergency manager, Darnell Earley, will resign his post at the end of the month.

Current State talks with Tony Daunt, operations director for the Michigan Freedom Fund, and David Hecker, president of the American Federation of Teachers-Michigan.