Philadelphia Federation of Teachers
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 ads have saturated the airwaves recently. They show a Philadelphia mother saying, “Mayor Nutter has stood with Governor Corbett as he gutted funding for Philadelphia’s public schools.”
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.
State budget secretary Charles Zogby, in a statement, said concessions from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers must be negotiated before that cash is released.
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.
Despite the deficit, a spokesman for the majority leader of the GOP-controlled House — says unless the city increases its funding and the teachers’ union is willing to accept concessions, it is unlikely the House will be more interested in O’Brien’s bill this time around.
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.
The report by the National Council on Teacher Quality comes at a time when the district is negotiating a new contract with the 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.