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Blue-Collar Workers Ratify Philadelphia Schools Contract

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Blue-collar workers in the Philadelphia School District have ratified a new four-year contract that officials say will preserve most jobs while reducing costs to the district.

District officials and leaders of the Service Employees International Union local 32BJ said Monday that the agreement will preserve the jobs of most of the nearly 2,700 members while providing more than $100 million in financial relief to the district.

Officials said the contract includes a wage freeze and contributions by the bus aides, mechanics, building engineers and other members. It allows layoffs as the district closes underutilized buildings and the transportation department reduces its workforce by 75 workers.

Mayor Michael Nutter said the pact would bring the district closer to fiscal stability and praised the union for “placing first the interests of students.”

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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