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A pay boost and bonuses are on the way for many Detroit district employees

Anthony Lanzilote

Raises of 3% and bonuses of as much as $950 are on the way for a number of employees of the Detroit school district, according to tentative agreements negotiated with unions.

The agreements cover most Detroit Public Schools Community District non-teaching staff, including police officers, office workers, paraprofessionals, most noon-hour aides, and union administrators.

“Every group will receive a 3% increase in annual salary, starting the second semester of this school year,” Superintendent Nikolai Vitti told board members during a committee meeting Friday.

The bonuses will be paid in December.

The full school board will have to approve the agreements, possibly at the next meeting on Oct. 15. They also must be approved by the Detroit Financial Review Commission, which has some oversight of the district thanks to the $617 million legislative package in 2016 that addressed the crushing debt in the city’s school district. That oversight requires the commission to approve collective bargaining agreements.

Vitti said the raise is similar to what members of the Detroit Federation of Teachers received earlier this year.

The agreements close out the final year of three-year agreements the district entered into with its unions in 2017. Each agreement had a provision that required coming back to the bargaining table to negotiate salary for the final year of the pact.

District officials, in materials that were part of the agenda for the committee meeting, said the agreements are a significant step in the district’s strategy to make employees “financially whole,” after years under emergency management in which they made concessions or experienced pay cuts.

Employees represented by the seven unions will also receive one-time bonuses that Vitti described as “the highest amount of bonuses these groups have received in some time.”

The bonuses generally range from $750 to $950.

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