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July 26, 2012 Roy S. Roberts Emergency Manager 14th Floor, Fisher Building 3011 West Grand Blvd.

Detroit, MI 48202 Dear Mr. Roberts: Your decision to raise class sizes, cut wages and unilaterally impose other terms on Detroit's teachers, paraprofessionals and school office employees is both disappointing and counterproductive. These educators and school employees have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to Detroit, to the public schools and to the students they serve. They have willingly shared the burden of balancing budgets and doing what is necessary to keep the district going. They have earned the right to have a say in efforts to improve the quality of education in our city. As you know, any productive collective bargaining process allows for an open giveand-take through which the parties can better understand one another's issues and work toward shared goals. In this instance, those goals should be giving our students and teachers the tools they need to succeed. Detroit school employees have shown their willingness to engage in that process; we do not understand any basis for you not to similarly engage in good faith negotiations. Furthermore, the district and the union are already partners in important projects, like the expanded Diplomas Now program, that require collaboration in order to achieve success. I know we share a great hope that the Diplomas Now programswith their comprehensive school improvement program and wraparound serviceswill make the difference for many children in Detroit schools. It only makes sense that the spirit of cooperation that characterizes our work on Diplomas Now should be extended to all areas related to teaching and learning, including the negotiations between the district and the teachers and school staff of AFT Detroit. There was a time, not long ago, when even Republicans in Michigan recognized that collective bargaining is essential for a healthy democracy. In fact, it was former Gov. George Romney who not only opposed so-called right-to-work laws and praised the virtues of collective bargaining, but also had the wisdom to sign the legislation granting bargaining rights to public employees.

Roy S. Roberts/Page 2 Your choice to walk away from the table has denied thousands of teachers their basic rights as workers, but AFT Detroit members want nothing more than to get talks about the future of the schools back on track. For the sake of all those involved, I strongly ask that you agree to three commonsense requests: First, return to the table and bargain in good faith with teachers and school staff. Second, agree to a timeline of regular bargaining sessions before the opening of school, so we can immediately get back to work on the challenges we face in the coming school year. And third, agree to an impasse procedure, fair to both sides, so we can engage in frank discussions knowing that disputes will be handled without either side abandoning the process.

The challenges facing Detroit schools are urgent, and we cannot delay in addressing them. So I will be at your office this Friday, July 27, at 12:30 p.m., to discuss this situation and to express to you, face to face, that I am dedicated to doing everything I can to make these crucial negotiations successfulfor Detroit schools, for our members and for the kids our members serve. Sincerely,

Randi Weingarten President RW: rd: cc opeiu2 afl-cio