CITY HALL (CBS) — The four-year-old stalemate between the Philadelphia School District and its teachers appears to be fraying nerves, and not just between the union and the district. On Friday the mayor blasted one school reform commission member on the issue.
Mayor Jim Kenney believes his administration may succeed where others have failed since the last teachers contract expired in 2012, and offered the services of his own labor liaison, saying his respectful approach helped settle a contract with city workers– a contrast, he said, with his former council colleague, School Reform Committee member Bill Green’s divulging negotiation details at a public meeting.
“To try to negotiate this in public is really disgraceful,” Kenney said. “This is coming from a guy who’s probably never had a really hard job in his life and doesn’t know what it’s like to be a working person.”
Green said he was just trying to get accurate information to teachers, who he thinks have been misled by union leadership. As for the mayor’s offer of city help, Green is dubious.
“We’ve had a state mediator who was an expert in bringing two sides together and we were not able to get any traction,” Green said. “I’m not convinced that with the mayor’s labor team help we can make any further progress.”
Green said, though, he’s willing to give it a try.