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Teachers Vent As Contract Talks Continue With Philadelphia School District

PFT members gather for Labor Day Parade as contract talks continue with the school district. (credit: Mike DeNardo)

PFT members gather for Labor Day Parade as contract talks continue with the school district. (credit: Mike DeNardo)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With teachers scheduled to report to class on Tuesday, contract talks continued Monday between the school district and the teachers union.

The two sides say they’re going to keep talking until they reach a deal. The cash-strapped school district has been seeking a total of $103 million in concessions from the union.
Teachers marching in the Labor Day Parade said they’re willing to bend but not break.

“Apparently wanting to give back and put in part of our health care benefits, which we have never done, is not enough,” said Sue Riemann, a math teacher at Lea Elementary School. “And having a pay freeze is also not enough.”

Other teachers called it frustrating.

“Teachers and the union didn’t really put the school district in the state that it’s in,” said Chrissy DelRossi, an ESOL teacher at Willard Elementary School. “And then they’re asking us to pay for it. So I think union members as a whole are very frustrated and annoyed with the whole situation.”

The teachers’ contract expired at midnight Saturday night.

A union membership meeting was scheduled for Monday night.

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