Flint BOE to vote on updated deficit elimination plan - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Flint BOE to vote on updated deficit elimination plan, 19 percent compensation cut for all staff

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(01/09/14) - Large cuts loom for all Flint Community Schools employees - that's nearly 1,200 people.

It's part of the district's updated deficit elimination plan scheduled to be resubmitted to the state Wednesday, Jan. 15. 

Flint Board of Education members must vote on it first. A special board meeting is set for Monday, Jan. 13.

"I'm pretty confident that this one will be it," Watkins said. "I can't speak for the state, but we've done everything they've asked us to do."

It's a double digit cut for every employee - a 19 percent reduction in wages and compensation if school board members OK it. Job cuts are included too.

Interim Superintendent Larry Watkins and union leaders announced, Thursday, a "memorandum of understanding" has been signed, moving them closer to reducing a multimillion dollar deficit.

The cuts would impact, at least, the final six months left in contracts, according to Ethel Johnson, president of the United Teachers of Flint. 

The savings, for that time period, amount to about $600,000, according to Johnson.

Johnson said her union will talk specifics with its members Monday, that this won't be a surprise to them, but these are not easy moves to make either.

"We're going to make sure we do what we need to do to survive," she said. "It's very hard for us, but together I think we can make a difference for the children of Flint."

Johnson said the UTF represents nearly 600 people - teachers, social workers, psychologists and counselors.

There are at least six other unions representing the remaining, roughly 600 employees in the district.

"We are in support of the superintendent and his initiatives to get the district where it needs to be to further serve the children in the city of Flint," said Jorgina Rubin, President of the Congress of School Administrators. Rubin said her union represents about 45 people.

"At least we have the opportunity to sit at the table together," Watkins said. "If someone else comes in, that opportunity is gone."

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