Detroit teachers get $2,000 hazard pay under new plan to reopen schools

Detroit teachers to get hazard pay
Photo credit Getty

(WWJ) Teachers in the Detroit Public Schools Community District will get $2,000 hazard pay under a new plan to reopen schools this fall.

The extra cash is part of a deal with the Detroit Federation of Teachers, announced by the district Monday morning.

DPSCD Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti said the letter of agreement shows everyone is on the same page to reopen classrooms and restart reform efforts that began before the pandemic.

One of many key provisions agreed to by the District and DFT is the continuation of the joint Labor Management Committee on Schools Reopening (CSR). The CSR will continue to meet weekly to review reopening issues and review pandemic related data to inform any recommendations to leadership regarding the plan. The district said this is another layer of monitoring, accountability, and collaboration to ensure commitments of safety are implemented with fidelity.

Under the agreement, teacher and auxiliary staff school staffers will receive the $2,000 hazard pay, while some teachers who have a blended learning environment, with both in-person and online learning, will receive an additional $2,000.

“As a district, I am proud that we did everything we could to meet the needs of our employees, students, and families during the most difficult times of the pandemic. Everyone did their part to keep each other safe and supported," Vitti said, in a statement.

"This agreement signals that we are all on the same page to restart our reform efforts that had great momentum before the pandemic. With a much-needed infusion of one-time Federal COVID Relief funding we will be able to effectively address absenteeism, learning loss, mental health, and many of our long-term facility needs."

Although COVID-19 cases remain down in Michigan, there will still be extensive safety guidelines for teachers and students, to include:

- COVID-19 student and employee training.

- Mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing for non-vaccinated staff

- Daily symptom and temperature checks for students and staff.

- Sanitizing wipes and sprays, face shields, gowns and gloves will be given to teachers and staff. Air purifiers and fans will be provided upon request.

- Desks that are placed 3ft apart to encourage social distancing in classrooms with small class sizes based upon the agreement and room size.

- Safety directives and reminder signage throughout all school buildings.

- Deep cleaning of classrooms and buildings as well as administrative checks on cleaning results and regular review of procedures.

- Ample supplies of hand sanitizers as well as hand sanitizing stations.

- Contracted nurse on duty at each school.

- Deep cleaning, masks, and social dis