In Michigan
9:19 am
Mon September 21, 2009

Lansing teachers appear supportive of new contract

LANSING, MI – Lansing teachers appear supportive of a tentative new two-year contract with the district.

Hundreds of teachers gathered Sunday afternoon at Everett High School for their first look at the document. The deal includes consecutive yearly pay increases of one-half percent for most members. Union leaders call salary and benefit provisions "concessionary" but realistic considering state and local deficits.

Some Lansing educators say they're thankful to be employed at all given Michigan's 15% jobless rate. Wendy McWhorter is an art teacher at Pleasant View Magnet School.

"My daughter's just moved to Nevada because there aren't jobs here. Um, we have to do whatever we can to keep people here, so I feel good about this. We all need to move on and hopefully our state will get back where it used to be," McWhorter says.

McWhorter supports the agreement. LSEA members begin voting Wednesday with results expected next Sunday.