The Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) has not been much of a leader in working people’s organizations but this might be about to change. The main concern of the union over the years has been to basically protect the bloated salaries and privileges of the trade union executives, like Keith Johnson, the pathetic president of DFT. In fact, union executives have been openly working with the school authorities in Detroit to force hundreds, if not thousands, of experienced teachers to retire, so they can be replaced by a low-wage instructors, forced to work in charter schools without the slightest rights or input on how children are taught nor any control over curriculum or the day to day running of the schools.
When addressing issues of employment and collective bargaining with classified and certified staff, some states allow their charter schools to bargain independently and directly with staff while others do not. In Arkansas, for example, charter schools are bound by school district collective bargaining agreements and teachers in each of a state’s charter schools have equal access to the public school teachers’ retirement system. In Minnesota, on the other hand, charter schools are not bound by district collective bargaining agreements. Minnesota charter school’s teachers may negotiate as separate unit with the charter school governing body or work independently. A charter school’s bargaining unit may remain part of the school district unit if teachers, the charter school governing board, the local school board and the teachers’ union in the school district agree. In Oregon, a charter school’s teachers may participate in existing