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Lawsuit Challenges DPS Employee Pay Cut

DETROIT (WWJ) - A lawsuit aims to stop the Detroit Public Schools from imposing a 10 percent pay cut on employees. The suit which names DPS Emergency Financial Manager Roy Roberts as well and State Treasurer Andy Dillon, was filed Thursday.

Even though a new state law has expanded the powers of emergency managers to impose changes, including employee contracts, the three unions representing teachers clerical workers and others, are prepared to fight.

"We're challenging the applicability of the law as it's been imposed," said Detroit Federation of Teachers President Keith Johnson.

"We're filing suit in federal court because we believe that there are some constitutional statute issues," he said.

Johnson says the union's lawyer will ask  a federal judge to stop the pay cuts as soon as possible.

WWJ's Stephanie Davis spoke with Donna Jackson who represents paraprofessionals including teachers assistants and noon-hour aids. "We are part of the lowest paid throughout the DPS, and we too have been imposed with the 10 percent cut."

Jackson said some of her 900-plus members are right around minimum wage,  making about $7-per-hour.

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