Ruling Ends Detroit Teachers' Contract Dispute
While public-school teachers in Detroit last week received a ruling that ended their six-month-long contract dispute, teachers' strikes continued in four school districts in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
In the California, Pa., district, where teachers struck at the end of September, administrators and substitutes began holding classes for seniors. Other students remained out of school. And in three Ohio districts, administrators, substitutes, and nonstriking teachers kept the schools open.
The ruling in Detroit, handed down by a "fact-finder," David Tanzman, requires Detroit teachers to "lend" the hard-pressed school district 10 days' pay this year.
Mr. Tanzman ordered the teachers to make $13-million worth of concessions under a binding contract settlement. His ruling ends a dispute began last September.
Mr. Tanzman's decision disappointed both the school board and the Detroit Federation of Teachers.
"It is obviously no victory for the union," said the dft president, John M. Elliott. "We consider our sacrifice on no pay increase this year to be a major concession."
Detroit Superintendent Arthur Jefferson said the concessions fall far short of the $23 million the school board asked from teachers this year, and will barely make a dent in the $50-million deficit anticipated by the school board.
Basically, Mr. Tanzman's ruling orders Detroit teachers to defer 10 days' pay between February and July. The teachers are to be repaid at the rate of one day per year starting in 1984.
In Pennsylvania, the state labor relations board last week ordered both sides to testify before a state "fact-finder" to try to end the teachers' strike that has kept schools in the California-area district closed since the end of September.
Representatives of the California Area Teachers Association and the school board were to meet last Thursday with William Hannan to define their areas of disagreement in the contract negotiations that started one year ago. The teachers are holding out for salary increases and job-security provisions.
Seniors in the district, located south of Pittsburgh, attended class for the first time in more than three months last Tuesday. Substitute teachers and administrators with emergency certification held classes so that the seniors would have enough classroom time to graduate on schedule this spring.
In three Ohio districts affected by strikes, substitute teachers, strikebreakers, and administrators were keeping classes in session.
Violence broke out in Hartville when a striking teacher jumped on the hood of another teacher's car as it entered the school's parking lot. Six teachers were arrested in the Jan. 5 clash with police.
The 140 members of the Lake Local Education Association walked off the job Jan. 3, three days after their contract expired. Stark County Common Pleas Judge William Quinn ordered the two sides to resume negotiations last Tuesday.
The board of education's last offer would raise base salaries from $12,000 to $12,720 immediately and increase them further to $13,483 in September. The teachers are de-manding salaries of $13,450 and $14,350, respectively.
Attendance at the schools, which are being operated by 125 substitutes and 24 strike-breakers, is running at about 35 percent, officials said.
In the Willoughby-Eastlake district, teachers walked off the job on Jan. 10 after working for one week without a contract.
The teachers are asking for an immediate 7-percent raise from the current $13,310 base salary and another 5.3-percent increase in September. The school board has offered a 3.6-percent raise starting in September.
Teachers in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights district also remained on strike last week.
Charlie Euchner and Glen Macnow contributed to this report.
Vol. 02, Issue 17