Philadelphia Federation of Teachers
Superintendent William Hite’s budget relies on labor concessions — including teacher pay cuts from 5 to 13 percent, and an end to teacher seniority.
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.
Philadelphia’s teachers’ union got some national help to make their argument that schools can improve without the wholesale closings and charter takeovers that have been proposed.
Pink slips are going out later this week for 270+ non-teaching personnel.
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.
They were protesting the plan to turn the Creighton, HR Edmunds, and Cleveland elementary schools and the Jones Middle School over to charter providers under the district’s “Renaissance” program, which turns failing schools over to outside operators.
The Philadelphia teachers’ union has filed a complaint with the state, saying the school district is now using non-medical personnel to give medications to students.
“We’re not giving to the district, we are really giving to the children of Philadelphia because we do care about what happens in schools and what happens to the kids,” Federation president Jerry Jordan says.
Philadelphia’s annual Labor Day parade and picnic drew a large and mixed crowd — celebrating the movement that gave the holiday its name.
PFT president Jerry Jordan admits he won’t miss her.
It’s a win for the teachers’ union, who said all along that their contract called for layoffs by seniority and that no group of teachers should be bypassed.
“If you take the Promise Academies from the 154,000 students that we educate, 85 percent of them are African-American, then it’s a disgrace,” Pamela Williams shouted.