Ousted DFT president plans to launch own union
Plans are underway for an election to replace the ousted president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT), who announced a campaign to start a new union for educators in the city. Steve Conn said the group — tentatively called the Detroit Teachers Union — will fight for better pay and classroom conditions. At a press conference outside the Masonic Temple, he encouraged teachers to quit the DFT, calling it a "company union." "We're standing up for what's right," he said. Marick Masters, professor of management at Wayne State University School of Business and director of Labor@Wayne, said for starters, Conn would need to get 30 percent of the people who would be eligible to be in the new bargaining unit — so essentially 30 percent of DFT's members — to sign a petition that would need to be filed with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission. There would have to be an election. "It is an extremely difficult process, and it’s a long shot at best," Masters said.