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Madison Heights teacher, Board of Education lock horns in employment dispute

Any dispute between workers and employers has the potential to become disruptive. But the ongoing employment dispute between Madison Heights teachers and the Board of Education has the potential to disturb the education of many Detroit-area children, making the stakes higher than is par for the course in these kinds of disagreements.

Teachers in Madison heights were recently asked to take a 10 percent pay cut. Not only that, but the cut was made retroactive to the beginning of the year, meaning that the next several paychecks teachers receive will be quite meager as large portions are taken out to compensate for the larger paychecks they've received until now.

Teachers are not happy about this, naturally. Their union and the Board of Education have been wrangling over the possibility of a pay cut for quite some time and negotiations have gotten quite heated. One teacher said that forcing a 10 percent pay cut would mean that some teachers would not be able to meet their mortgage payments or pay for daycare for their children.

The 10 percent pay cut has not been formalized yet, so there is a chance that ongoing negotiations could result in a different resolution.

We understand that times are hard and that sometimes painful cuts must be made, so we are not taking the side of either the teacher's union or the Board of Education. However, because we understand the importance of having teachers who can focus on the classroom, we hope this employment dispute is resolved fairly and quickly.

Source: The Detroit Free Press, "Citing hardship, Madison Heights teachers plan to fight 10% pay cut," April 19, 2012

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