The midnight deadline came and went Saturday, but there was no new contract between the Philadelphia School District and its teachers union.
Concerned that schools will open September 9th without adequate staffing, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan is ready to budge at the bargaining table.
The Philadelphia teachers’ union is mulling its legal options now that the School Reform Commisson has taken the unprecedented step of overriding the union’s contractual seniority protections.
House Republicans have said “no” to a $2-per-pack cigarette tax in the city, but Nutter isn’t ready to throw in the towel on that proposal.
Mayor Nutter says “shared sacrifice” is required to restore the $300 million in cuts recently made in the school district’s budget. But the teachers union says its members have sacrificed enough.
State Senator Mike Stack says the bill could help free up a total of $400 million in combined delinquent property, business and wage, but even if it passes, it could take a while before the schools feel relief.
Superintendent William Hite’s budget relies on labor concessions — including teacher pay cuts from 5 to 13 percent, and an end to teacher seniority.
The group endorses full site selection in the next teachers contract — that is, letting principals pick teachers, rather than having teachers with seniority choosing the schools where they want to work.
A coalition of groups is asking Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter to pressure the School Reform Commission to put a one-year moratorium on the plan to close dozens of schools.
In its opening contract proposal, the Philadelphia School District wants teachers’ work days extended from seven to eight hours with teachers at the top of the pay scale taking a 13-percent salary cut.
Superintendent William Hite defended the salary increases, saying they coincided with additional responsibilities for employees in the district’s IT, finance, and human resources departments.
During the recent teachers strike in Chicago and throughout the nation, there is a continuing conversation about levels of teacher accountability.
A group of students, parents and teachers — unhappy with a consultant’s report that called for the closing of one-fifth of Philadelphia public schools –announced they’ll launch their own effort to develop a strategic plan.
“If you really want true input from the Federation, from parents and from other stakeholders, then we need to be a part of it at the beginning, and not at the end,” Jerry Jordan said.
On the second day of City Council School budget hearings, a new coalition met outside city Council chambers, vowing to fight the School Reform Commission’s “blueprint” to transform the city’s public schools.