19 percent compensation cut proposed for Flint school employees

<font size="2">Watkins said that, "the alternative, closing the doors and dismantling the district has never been and will never be an option."</font>

Flint Community Schools is looking to balance its budget by 2018. Part of its updated deficit elimination plan includes a 19 percent reduction in wages and compensation for all Flint school employees.

Interim Superintendent Larry Watkins was joined by leaders of the United Teachers of Flint and Congress of Flint School Administrators to announce the agreement Thursday. He called the decision "painful" but necessary for the welfare of students. He added the alternative - dismantling the school district - was not an option.

â??We have come together to make some tough decisions,â?? Watkins said. â??This is not an â??I,â?? this is a â??we.â?? And again, on behalf of the students and the community, I want to thank the united teachers of Flint, the MEA, and the Congress of Flint School Administrators for coming to the table,â?? he added.

The teacher's union said that they are on board with the changes and that their membership shouldn't be surprised by the proposal. The union will sit down with teachers Monday to go over the proposal.

â??It's very hard for us, but together I think we can make a difference for the children of Flint,â?? said Ethel Johnson, president of the United Teachers of Flint.

The Flint School Board will look over the proposal on Monday before passing it on to the Governor's office on Wednesday.

Potential reductions and cuts are expected to take effect July 1.